Valentine Holmes’ extended stint on the sidelines has put his chances of playing Origin football this year in “massive doubt”, according to Maroons legend Wally Lewis.
Holmes was ruled out for between 8-10 weeks after having surgery on his left ankle, and his chances of playing for the Maroons seem remote, even though this year’s series will be played in November; a week after the NRL grand final.
The Cowboys recruit was moved from fullback to the wing for last round’s loss to the Roosters because he was struggling with his movement due to a previous ankle issue suffered against the Warriors in round five.
He then twisted his ankle just after half-time forcing him off the field.
With the Cowboys struggling to stay in touch with the top eight having battled form issues all season, Holmes may only be fit to take his place in two or three more games in 2020.
The club may not even risk putting him back on the field should their finals hopes be over by the time he recovers from surgery.
“I think it puts it in massive doubt (playing Origin),” Maroons legend Wally Lewis told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“You’ve got to remember the Origin is played quite a few weeks after the season’s finished for a lot of the clubs not being in the finals.
“So it makes it very difficult for the opportunity to play Origin football. But I think anybody who has the opportunity to play Origin, if you possibly can you want to get over your injury quicker if it meant playing for the Maroons one more time.”
Holmes’ brief stint with the New York Jets in the NFL would also work against him, according to Broncos great Sam Thaiday.
“He hasn’t played a lot of rugby league at all for the last two years. Very tough decision for the Maroons’ selection staff, it’s going to be slim pickings if we keep losing players,” Thaiday told QLDER.
The Maroons currently have several players out injured with the likes of Cameron Munster, Michael Morgan, David Fifita and Holmes all sidelined.
Holmes was the world’s best winger and a try-scoring machine when he was playing for Cronulla before leaving for a shot at the NFL.
He came home on a monster deal to play for the Cowboys, reportedly worth $5.8 million over six years.