Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan says he will give star playmaker Todd Carney up until kick-off to prove himself fit for Friday's do-or-do NRL semi-final against Manly.
Carney aggravated the hamstring injury that had previously ruled him out for two weeks in the closing stages of Saturday's controversial 20-18 elimination final win over North Queensland.
But Flanagan said on Monday that scan results were positive and showed no further damage to the five-eighths' hamstring.
"So it was probably a little bit more of a fatigue thing setting in at that end of the half," Flanagan told reporters on Monday.
"It would've been nice if we were in front and we could've got him off. But in the semi-finals, it was probably wishful thinking.
"We'll give him right up till the game, but we'll have a back-up plan tomorrow."
Flanagan said he would consider replacing Carney with Chad Townsend if needed, although Luke Lewis and Wade Graham were also possible options.
"I might roll at some stage during the game with that sort of scenario - Wade or Lewis at five-eighth and Chad could play as well," he said.
"We'll just see how we train this week and we'll come up with a plan.
"But Chad, I've got all the confidence in him. He played really well in our last game against Canberra and played plenty of first-grade."
Flanagan also weighed in on claims by Cowboys coach Neil Henry and Johnathan Thurston that Saturday's seventh-tackle try refereeing blunder was part of a conspiracy to ensure two Sydney teams played in this year's grand final.
The coach said while he felt for Thurston and his teammates, it was not a conspiracy.
"It had an impact on the game but it didn't decide the game," Flanagan said.
"The players out there have got the most impact on deciding games - we like to think the referees just do their job.
"There's definitely not any conspiracy theory to try and have a Souths-Roosters grand final. I know there's a couple of other teams - Melbourne, Manly and Newcastle - who would like to think they had a bit of a say in that.
"It's disappointing that we get these errors in big games, but human error's going to come into every game.
"We just need to deal with it."