Granville out, Coote in doubt for Cowboys

Playing on with a broken leg is a hard act to follow.

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But North Queensland coach Paul Green reckons they won’t lose much replacing inspirational hooker Jake Granville with Ben Hampton in Saturday night’s home NRL clash with Wests Tigers.

The Cowboys mentor is however sweating on a potential backline reshuffle with fullback Lachlan Coote again nursing a calf complaint.

Green confirmed on Tuesday that Granville suffered a leg fracture late in last round’s 20-6 win over South Sydney but finished the game.

He is expected to be sidelined for three to six weeks.

“He thought he had a cork,” Green said.

“He finished the game with a broken leg. He even offered to carry the esky back (to the dressing room).

“He’s a tough guy.

“It’s a good lesson for our young blokes.

“I think that is part of the reason why everyone loves playing with him.”

Green admitted Granville’s injury was a huge blow but believed former Melbourne utility Hampton was an ideal replacement.

“He’s come here as a utility and covered a number of positions and each time he did well in all of them,” Green said of Hampton who linked with the Cowboys this year.

“I think it is good that he knows he will spend a fair amount of time in one position so he can get his head around that.

“I don’t think we will lose much with Benny.”

Green said Coote was also a concern after being forced to miss training so far this week.

Coote was named on Tuesday despite nursing the same calf that sidelined him for two games before his comeback match against the Rabbitohs.

“He’s under an injury cloud. Hopefully he will train either tomorrow or Friday,” Green said.

“When you have that (injury) you get scar tissue build-up over it and when you disrupt the scar tissue it feels very similar to when you strain it.

“It does put you at risk if you are to play again the following week.

“We will see how he pulls up but we won’t take any unnecessary risks.”

Green was hopeful Coote would next train on Thursday.

Teenager Kalyn Ponga was named on the Cowboys bench on Tuesday but will be on standby for Coote this week.