DCE suffers Four Nations hip tear
October 26th, 2014, 04:23 PMA "rare" injury to Daly Cherry-Evans may lead to what experts would have considered an even more unlikely sight not so long ago - Ben Hunt wearing the Australian No.6 jersey.
Scans on Sunday have revealed Cherry-Evans suffered a "minor hip muscle tear" in the Kangaroos' humbling 30-12 Four Nations loss to New Zealand on Saturday night.
A Kangaroos official said the playmaker "remains a chance of playing" their must-win clash with England in Melbourne on November 2.
However, Australian coach Tim Sheens will be wary of rolling the dice on another player's fitness after a decision to play an ill Greg Inglis spectacularly backfired at Suncorp Stadium.
Inglis had been nursed through the week after contracting a virus from teammate Sam Thaiday and convinced coaching staff he could play, only to pull out at halftime with dizziness and dehydration.
"We thought he would be okay and it backfired on us," Sheens said.
Cherry-Evans also did not emerge for the second half after limping off in the 35th minute before a Shaun Johnson-inspired New Zealand stormed home to snap Australia's 16-Test winning run.
Inglis is likely to back up against England but Hunt looks set to be blooded against the Poms as Cherry-Evans nurses a "unique" hip complaint.
"It seems to be a rare one they don't see too often," Kangaroos assistant Craig Fitzgibbon said on Sunday.
"It's a bit early to throw a time frame on but he (physio) said it is quite a unique injury."
A Kangaroos debut would ensure Hunt's meteoric rise this year reached new heights.
Thrown the Broncos No.7 jersey, the former utility bench player has been a revelation.
He finished fifth in the Dally M Medal count and shone for the Prime Minister's XIII against PNG to become one of 11 new faces in the Four Nations squad.
And Fitzgibbon backed the diminutive 24-year-old to stand tall for the Kangaroos if selected.
"He has had a terrific season," Fitzgibbon said.
"Tim was very happy with his game in PNG and he trained really well, really fitted in well with the squad.
"He trained well in the halves the last week so that gives him a leg up."
Inglis and Cherry-Evans' second-half no show forced a major backline reshuffle.
But Fitzgibbon admitted it had a much greater effect on a line-up without 10 Test incumbents due to injury and suspension.
"Cherry-Evans and Inglis are the sort of blokes who jag something when you are not playing well, come up with a play to get you back in the game," he said.
"You get confidence from those guys."
Fitzgibbon refused to place the blame on their five debutants on Saturday night, hinting that they deserved a second chance.
"It's pretty hard to look at the debutants - we expected everyone to band around them and make their night better," he said.
"Next week we have to get that right, it's backs to the wall."