Latrell Mitchell fitness, Latrell origin, Fittler Blues selections, Jason Demetriou, South Sydney Rabbitohs, news, State of Origin, NSW Blues

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou has claimed the “timing isn’t right” for Latrell Mitchell to return to the Origin arena.

Demetriou was clearly fed up with journalist’s questions regarding his star full-back’s fitness after he returned from a trip to America to work with renowned hamstring specialist Bill Knowles.

Mitchell is yet to return to the field having been sidelined since Round 5 and Brad Fittler would have been hoping he could have selected the dynamic ball runner for the second Origin match.

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Now, Demetriou has put to bed any questions surrounding Mitchell’s fitness.

“I’m not going to discuss my conversations with Latrell,” Demetriou said.

“Latrell knows where he’s at, I know where he’s at, and we’ll leave it at that.

“I think it’s a bit unfair on Latrell, as a guy who’s going through nearly 10 weeks of rehab. He battled at the start of the season with a knee, and that led to a hamstring injury.

“That’s where it’s at. It’s not on Latrell that they (NSW) lost Origin I. It’s not on Latrell to get back any sooner than he’s capable of playing.


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“It’s not fair to put him out there until he can do the job he knows he can do.

“I would love Latrell to play Origin, and Latrell would love to play, we all would. But unfortunately the timing isn’t quite right.”

The Rabbitohs No.1 is eyeing a Round 16 return against the Eels and if he makes it through the encounter will likely be available for Fittler to select for the final Origin clash.

Demetriou explained that as it stands, Mitchell is focused on recovering from injury and should be ready for Origin III if needed.

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“It’s not about whether he’s playing Origin or he’s playing for us, it’s about whether he’s fit to play rugby league at NRL level, let alone Origin level. And he’s not,” Demetriou said.

“If he had a broken arm and it was six weeks (out injured) we wouldn’t be asking these questions.

“As far as I’m concerned he is going through his injury recovery. Nothing has changed for us.

“We hope to get him back and firing and fit and ready for Origin III if they need him.”

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