NRL: Thurston cleared of hand injury

Johnathan Thurston. Photo / Getty Images
Johnathan Thurston. Photo / Getty Images

North Queensland co-captain Johnathan Thurston has been cleared of a hand injury which threatened his start to the NRL season.

The Queensland and and Australian five-eighth underwent precautionary x-rays and scans on Monday after hurting his right hand in Saturday night's NRL All Stars game.

Thurston's hand was still sore on Monday, but the club confirmed there was no structural damage.

He is now safe to travel to Cairns on Thursday for the club's NRL pre-season trial against St George Illawarra at Barlow Park on Saturday night.

Fellow co-captain Matthew Scott, Gavin Cooper, Dallas Johnson, Glenn Hall, Ashton Sims and Antonio Winterstein are expected to make their first appearance for the year in the trial.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys believe their latest re-signing Kane Linnett can break into representative football this season.

The 24-year-old centre, who played 24 of the club's 26 games in 2012, extended his contract until 2016 on Monday, much to the delight of coach Neil Henry and club football manager Peter Parr.

Linnett carried off the club's Most Improved award last season following a breakout year which included 12 tries to the former Rooster.

"We couldn't have been any happier with how Kane performed in his first season with the Cowboys,'' Parr said on Monday.

"He settled in straight away, had an excellent season in both attack and defence and we think there's still more development there in his game.

"He should come into contention for representative football in the near-future and it's a big positive for our club that he's committed long-term to the Cowboys.''

Linnett, who is three games shy of 50 NRL games, said he enjoyed the North Queensland lifestyle.

"Both the area and the club suit me. I already have some great mates here and you can tell we have a team capable of winning a premiership,'' he said.

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- AAP

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