Group 20 rugby league
LEETON'S preparations for the new season have hit a snag as mystery surrounds the fitness status of star five-eighth Clinton Green.
Green cracked his pelvis in the club's grand final loss to TLU and is still struggling to overcome a serious groin injury which has plagued him ever since.
It kept him from joining the Greens' first pre-season training session last week and it could yet see him miss a large chunk of the season, club officials fear.
New captain-coach Franky Fiumara said Green was seeking an MRI scan to cut through the uncertainty surrounding the injury, but admitted the current signs were not encouraging.
"At the moment within himself, he's not that confident," Fiumara said.
"He thinks it's pretty bad, still.
"We're sort of juggling it at the moment, we don't know what we're going to do there."
Green was set to form a key part of Leeton's playmaking brigade alongside former NRL player Clint Halden and the improving Brad McDonnell.
A resigned Fiumara is now planning for life without him for at least the first half of year, unless the MRI scan provides some unlikely good news.
"It would have been good but football hits you with some ups and downs and you've just got to play the cards you're dealt with," Fiumara said.
Green's injury will likely mean an increased role for McDonnell, who has emerged as an excellent first grade halves option over the last few years.
"Hopefully we can work with him a bit more this year and get his confidence up, and get him playing even better," Fiumara said.
"He's definitely keen to have a crack."
Meanwhile, Leeton is still waiting on a decision from Group 20 representative prop Chris Latu, who is not yet committed to playing this season.
"We're still hopeful (he will say yes) but nothing's happened, no," president John McDonnell said.
The Greens, however, are committed to the West Wyalong Knockout at the end of February, and will enter both men's and women's teams in the popular competition.
The club is hoping to book a trial match on home soil against a Sydney opponent before the knockout tournament.