Cowboys tracking well for return to field
COWBOYS players will undergo individual testing this week as the club eyes off a potential return to full contact work on Monday.
The NRL will work within the Australian Institute of Sport's return-to-sport framework, with players only allowed to do non-contact training in groups of 10. The NRL is hopeful that framework will move to Stage C following Friday's National Cabinet meeting which will allow for normal training.
While players spent yesterday getting an understanding of the code's strict biosecurity protocols, the Cowboys coaching staff met to map out a training game plan ahead of the NRL's expected May 28 return.
That game plan will include stringent individual strength and conditioning testing to see where players are at after an extended lay-off due to coronavirus.
Club director of football Peter Parr suggested all of the playing group were in good condition when they returned to Cowboys HQ on Monday.
"This week will entail some testing and getting a good knowledge of where the players are at. That includes individual running and strength work," he said.
"Our initial impressions are that they have all been doing the right thing (at home). We supplied them with appropriate equipment (when we broke up), they took weights home and rowers and stationery bikes. Players all took that type of equipment home in an effort to stay in the physical condition we need them in.
"We are in Phase B (of the AIS return-to-sport framework) this week where we are allowed to train in groups of 10. We expect either this weekend or early Monday next week we will be able to go into Phase C and return to full training."
If the AIS framework does update to Phase C, it will give the club two weeks of contact work before returning to the field.
While he admitted it was not ideal for players, Parr said all clubs would have to deal with it in their own ways.
"In normal circumstances you would have some concerns," he said. "Given it is the same for all 16 clubs, we are coming from a level playing field.
"We haven't had that conversation where anyone is concerned (about a rise in injury). We will know more after we are able to do contact work at training."
It is understood the players returned to the club in high spirits on Monday, and that will only continue to improve as a return to the playing field gets closer.
"There is still a fair bit for the players to absorb," Parr said. "Once they get into a routine of what they will have to do each day, once they know how their day is going to look and what they need to do (it will help).
"If we can get them into a good structure and as we get closer to playing you will see an extra spring in their step."
Originally published as Cowboys tracking well for return to field