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North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston has recovered from his most recent training session well, but coach Paul Green is eager to make a decision as soon as possible on whether or not he plays to give likely-debutant Kyle Laybutt ample time to prepare for his first NRL game. 

The inclusion of Thurston would see the Cowboys return to full strength, minus Matt Scott who will be out for the remainder of the year with an ACL injury. It would be the first time North Queensland's first-choice spine has played together since their Round 2 victory over the Brisbane Broncos, when Lachlan Coote was injured. 

"If he wasn't any chance of playing we probably wouldn't have taken him [to Darwin]. In saying that it doesn't mean he's going to play either, there's still a fair few things to do with respect to the shoulder," Green said. 

"He got through our last training session pretty well, probably better than I expected and has pulled up alright… I'd like to decide before [the captain's run] I think, if Kyle is going to play, to be fair it's his debut so he needs to have a really good prep."