Queensland officials will assess Coates on Monday and his potential omission would be a huge blow for the Maroons, which were set to use his aerial prowess as an attacking threat against red hot favourites NSW.
Asked about the Coates injury, Queensland rookie Brenko Lee said: “I didn’t think it was bad. You know when it’s bad when someone’s screaming and they don’t want anyone around, but he just said it was a bit numb.
You know when it’s bad when someone’s screaming and they don’t want anyone around, but he just said it was a bit numb
“I’ve got full faith in Wayne [Bennett] and the medical staff to make the right call. I think the big fella will be right. If not, whoever comes in will do their best for the state.”
Bennett is set to elevate Panthers utility Kurt Capewell, named as 18th man when the squads were announced last week, into his starting team to help provide defensive steel in the outside backs. Capewell is poised to play centre with Titans flyer Phillip Sami likely to drop out of the 17.
But Sami would make a swift return if Coates is not considered fit for the Adelaide match.
“I didn’t even see him go down,” Queensland prop Josh Papalii said. “I was in the middle and it was frantic there so I didn’t have time to look out on the wing. Xavier is a big boy and I’m excited to see how he goes … hopefully he is alright.”
Coates has only played 15 NRL games for the Broncos in his short NRL career, debuting just days before last year’s series deciding match at ANZ Stadium.
NSW were heavy $1.37 favourites with Sportsbet for the first match of the series, with Queensland the $3.10 outsiders on Sunday.