NRL: Marshall back for Tigers

Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images
Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images

The injury-hit Wests Tigers have been boosted by the return of Benji Marshall for Friday's NRL clash with Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.

Marshall has missed the past two games with a toe problem and doctors recommended that he sit out at least another week to allow him to recover fully.

But with the joint-venture being struck down by a crippling injury crisis, Marshall was desperate to play and showed no ill-effects during training with his teammates on Thursday morning.

After the completion of the session, the New Zealand playmaker tweeted that he had been cleared to face the Bulldogs.

"Passed a fitness test today so pumped to be back playing with the @weststigers boys tomorrow night,'' Marshall wrote.

The Tigers are without seven of their senior players with Chris Lawrence, Blake Ayshford and Tim Moltzen joining Keith Galloway, Lote Tuqiri, Matt Bell and Braith Anasta in the treatment room last weekend.

Moltzen is out for the season after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament against Brisbane, with Ayshford breaking his leg in the same game and Lawrence tearing a hamstring.

Coach Mick Potter had named rookies Curtis Sironen and Jacob Miller in the halves and was cautious about rushing Marshall back.

The Tigers have lost their past four games and face a Canterbury side boosted by the return of England international James Graham - a player Potter coached at St Helens in England.

"I rate James as one of the best props in the game,'' Potter said.

"It's good to see him back, but unfortunately it's against us.

"He adds a different dimension to their game, has a good pass and draws in defenders.''

In addition to playing tough, he can also play a number of minutes, Potter said.

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