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Johnson good chance for Sharks

Richard Becht

Shaun Johnson is rated a good chance of being available for the Vodafone Warriors against Cronulla next Sunday (August 10). Image | www.photosport.co.nz
Shaun Johnson is rated a good chance of being available for the Vodafone Warriors against Cronulla next Sunday (August 10). Image | www.photosport.co.nz

While he's missing the Vodafone Warriors' clash against Canberra today, halfback Shaun Johnson is rated a good chance of being available for the club's 22nd-round clash against Cronulla at Mount Smart Stadium next Sunday (4.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Bendon).

The 23-year-old 79-game Vodafone Warrior is sidelined with a groin injury for the second match running after tweaking it in training on Thursday.

But the club's medical team believes he should be ready to turn for the Vodafone Warriors' third to last home match of the regular season.

It's the first time since his NRL debut in 2011 that Johnson has missed two games on end.

He succumbed to the injury late in the Vodafone Warriors’ final training run before last week’s clash against Manly, forcing him to miss an NRL match for the first time since the last round of the 2012 regular season (when was left out for the home encounter with Canberra).

Head coach Andrew McFadden immediately rated the halfback as an unlikely starter for the critical clash against the Raiders and on Friday confirmed Johnson wouldn’t travel.

After being used in three consecutive matches following his debut in 2011 he was left out for one match before returning and establishing himself as the first-choice halfback right through to the grand final against Manly.

The only other game he had missed until now was the 2012 Anzac Day encounter with Melbourne when he was out with a shoulder injury.

In Johnson’s absence, Thomas Leuluai is again set to start in the halves today in what will be his third match back from a lay-off with his own going injury. Tuimoala Lolohea, who became Vodafone Warrior No 192 last week, will come onto the bench again.  

The final line-up will be confirmed an hour before kick-off.