Cowboys captain Michael Morgan is reported to be in "really good spirits" but the club will take no risks with his health after he was concussed for the second time in two games in Origin III.
Morgan will sit out teammate Gavin Cooper's 300th NRL game this weekend against the Roosters on Sunday and won't be able to return until getting clearance from an independent neurological assessment.
“We want to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure he ticks all the boxes before he gets on the field,” said Cowboys assistant coach Josh Hannay.
“I haven't spoken to him personally but the feedback I was given from those who have say he actually woke up feeling really well, but obviously we’re going to take every precaution there.
“Our medicos will catch up with him when we get to Sydney. He stayed down there after Origin and he'll meet up with us once we get there.
“They’ll do the necessary tests and then probably make the call and we'll put a plan in place moving forward for when he might be able to play again.”
Roosters v Cowboys - Round 17
Better news for the Cowboys as they look to arrest a three-game losing streak is the availability of Maroons forward Josh McGuire, who played all but three minutes of Origin III and powered through 47 tackles.
“Some guys feel better 48 hours after a game, some guys take a little bit longer," Hannay said.
"Hopefully for Josh that extra day will help in terms of his recovery.”
If the Cowboys are to spring an upset and give Cooper the perfect 300th present they will need huge games from their forwards, and the imminent return of Coen Hess from a knee injury would be a bonus.
Hess hasn't played since the round 14 loss to Wests Tigers and is listed among the reserves but Hannay is optimistic.
“He needs to get through a full week of training which culminates in Saturday's captain’s run," Hannay said.
"It's been a long week this week so we've been able to get some more sessions on the park than normal and he's been able to complete those.
"We just want to make sure he doesn't pull up sore from yesterday's session and today’s travel.”
Three frustrating losses on the trot have seen the Cowboys slip to 13th and they face a tough month with matches against the Roosters, Rabbitohs, Sharks and Wests Tigers.
If there is to be a late charge to the finals it has to start at Central Coast Stadium against the premiers.
"The fact that it is the reigning premiers adds even more motivation," Hannay said.
“We're going down there off the back of some good preparation coming off the bye with some fresh legs and prepared to give it our best shot.
"They’ve got some quality right across the park so if we dedicate too much time and energy to someone like Luke Keary, then Cooper Cronk will hurt us on the other side.
“He’s a class player Keary, and I think before he had his concussion issues, he was everyone's first choice five-eighth for New South Wales.
“Jake Friend’s back in the line-up and Latrell Mitchell on that left edge has got a lot to prove.
"It seems he's been written off in some circles and he’s such a quality player so we want to hope that he's not too motivated on Sunday to prove a point.”