AJ Brimson injured within the Titans’ defeat by Cronulla, fears Origin’s health

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Queensland State of Origin coach Paul Green will sweat AJ Brimson’s fitness after the Titans full-back was sent off with a knee injury in the second half of his side’s 38-10 loss to Cronulla on Sunday.

It’s another problem for Green, who will be naming his first team in Queensland on Monday. Cameron Munster and Kalyn Ponga are also under a cloud of injuries.

Brimson visibly struggled in the first 40 but was cleared for return after an assessment at half time.

But only 15 minutes after the start of the second half, the full-back was barely able to walk and was finally lifted off.

Brimson is believed to have played with the injury since Gold Coast’s eighth round win over Brisbane.

After the heavy defeat, disappointed Titans coach Justin Holbrook confirmed that Brimson sustained the injury a month ago.

“He hit his knee again and has some bruises,” said Holbrook.

“He used to make it to the Broncos in round eight and he did that again.

“It doesn’t help if you lose one of your best guys and mix things up.”

Holbrook said he did not know if Brimson was eligible for an Origin call.

The 22-year-old was limited to nine NRL games in 2020, but after a scorching end of the season, he was selected for the Origin opener in Adelaide in November.

The full-back scored a try in the second half when the Maroons hit back after a 10-0 half-time deficit but was excluded from the rest of the series with a foot injury.

Valentine Holmes switched from wing to full-back to replace Brimson in game two before Corey Allan stepped in as full-back for the decision.

Meanwhile, a foot injury has put Munster out of action since Melbourne’s ninth round win against South Sydney, and the playmaker admits he’ll be running around the clock to be fit for Origin’s June 9 opener.

Ponga was a potential replacement for Munster in fifth place for Queensland, but the Knights star is also in doubt after being knocked out from Newcastle in the twelfth round against Manly.

Ponga has been limited to just five games so far this season. A groin injury kept him away since the ninth lap.

After debuting in game two of the 2018 series, Ponga was limited to just three games as the entire 2020 series was absent with a shoulder injury.

Green will announce his squad in Queensland on Monday morning. Blues trainer Brad Fittler will name his squad on Sunday night.