Maroons star Billy Slater left training early after rolling his ankle just three days out from Origin III. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
Veteran full-back Billy Slater has sent a scare through the Queensland camp ahead of potentially his last State of Origin game, suffering an ankle injury late at training on Sunday.
The Maroons confirmed Slater had rolled his ankle during a drill with just minutes left in their main session at their Gold Coast camp before Wednesday night’s series decider against New South Wales in Brisbane.
The 34-year-old veteran of 28 Origins had his right ankle strapped before he was driven from the ground in a golf cart for further treatment.
However, Queensland are backing Slater to run out for game three for what may be the final time for the Maroons.
Slater is yet to decide whether to play on in 2018.
Zane Bojack tweet: Treatment for @billyslater ankle injury after exiting training early @sanctuarycove this morning #Origin
Queensland winger Valentine Holmes was encouraged by the fact Slater was able to walk off the ground unassisted after the scare.
“He’s tough. He’s been through a lot. And he walked off so that is a good sign,” he said.
“He’s rolled his ankle. He was just going back to the defensive line and I think there was a little divot in the ground.”
Queensland will farewell at least one great on Wednesday night.
Veteran five-eighth Johnathan Thurston will received a pre-match tribute after his 37 Origin-game career was ended by a shoulder injury suffered in Queensland’s 18-16 game two win in Sydney.
It did not stop Thurston defying the injury and kicking a match-winning sideline conversion.
Half-back Cooper Cronk may also be playing his last Origin after announcing this year he would leave the Melbourne Storm and relocate to Sydney to be with his fiancee next year.
Cronulla custodian Holmes dismissed the thought of being considered as a replacement Maroons full-back for Slater in game three.
“It’s way too early for that. I am just starting my career. But I reckon Billy will be sweet,” he said.
“The coach will give him up to kick off to make sure he is right.”
Queensland leave their Gold Coast camp on Monday to relocate to Brisbane for their crunch clash.