IMAGE - Getty Images
Queensland coach Kevin Walters is hoping Johnathan Thurston might still make this month's State of Origin series opener, but will consult senior players about any potential replacement for the star half.
The classy five-eighth suffered a shoulder injury in Australia's Test win over New Zealand last Friday.
While the injury won't require surgery, it means Thurston will be racing the clock to play in the first Origin clash in Brisbane on Wednesday May 31.
Michael Morgan, Anthony Milford and Corey Norman are among the candidates to replace Thurston should he not recover in time.
In a poll conducted on Monday night on Fox Sports' NRL 360 about Thurston's potential replacement, Norman finished top on 42 per cent, followed by Milford (35) and Morgan (23).
Walters said if Thurston couldn't play in the match at Suncorp Stadium, the 34-year-old North Queensland playmaker would be consulted about who would take his place.
"I'll consult (halfback) Cooper (Cronk), Johnathan and (hooker) Cameron (Smith) about who would be the best fit," Walters said on NRL 360.
'We've got some good talent in that position....we've got some good depth in our halves.
"We're just going to have wait and see what happens in the next couple of weeks and hopefully little Jonny can get himself fit."
Incumbent Kangaroos and Queensland fullback Darius Boyd seems not to have any major issues with being moved back to the wing to accommodate the anticipated return of Billy Slater.
"You put your best players in the team and find positions afterwards," Boyd said.
Blues coach Laurie Daley appears to have a similar philosophy when it comes to squeezing a surfeit of quality back-rowers into his squad.
"We can't fit all our back-rowers in, we've been contemplating throwing them all in and finding a position for them," Daley said on NRL 360.