ALBURY Thunder captain Lou Goodwin is almost certain to be ruled out of Sunday’s top-of-the- table Group 9 rugby league showdown against Southcity at Greenfield Park.
Goodwin injured his shoulder in last week’s loss to Gundagai and, with the reigning premier having the bye next weekend, is unlikely to be risked.
Coach Josh Cale last night said Goodwin would be given until the last minute to prove his fitness, but rated him a long shot of coming up.
“I don’t think Lou will be playing,” Cale said.
“It’s a shame but it’s not worth the risk.
“It opens a door for someone else to step up.”
Ben Jeffery, who will take over from Cale as coach next season, is expected to captain the team.
Goodwin’s injury will make Albury Thunder even more desperate to win as it would guarantee the club top spot on the ladder and give them the break in the first week of the finals.
His absence could see the in-form Jake Grace move to lock.
Hooker Rex Sargeant (shoulder) and centre Chris Seaton (groin) were also injured against Gundagai last Sunday and face fitness tests.
Goodwin’s absence is a blow to his chances of winning the Weissel Medal.
He led the count on 25 votes, holding a four-vote advantage from Wagga Kangaroos hooker Glenn Dumbrell after round 14 when the count went behind closed doors.
Nathan Rose (South-city, 18) was third, with Grant Boyd (Cootamundra, 16) and Temora coach Michael Henderson (14) next.
Only two Albury players — Brett Gale (1993) and Greg Lynch (2005) — have won the medal.
Meanwhile, the Thunder will hold an Old Boys day at Greenfield Park on Sunday, with former players invited to attend.