Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
George Clarke

Mitchell can get back for Origin: Cook

Souths star Latrell Mitchell is tipped to return from injury in time for the Origin series opener. (AAP)

South Sydney hooker Damien Cook says there is no reason why Latrell Mitchell can't recover from injury in time to play in this year's first State of Origin game.

On Monday Mitchell was ruled out for the next eight weeks after sustaining a hamstring tendon injury in the Rabbitohs' win over St George Illawarra in round five.

This year's Origin opener is on June 8 which will leave Mitchell racing the clock to return in time for the series' first game.

Last year Mitchell was deployed at centre and scored four tries across the three-game series as the Blues claimed a 2-1 victory.

Cook, who is also a teammate at Origin level, agreed with the suggestion that Mitchell could even bypass a return with Souths and jump straight into a representative jersey.

"I know he's going to be there," Cook said.

"That (Origin) is probably another target for him to make sure he's back for that. We saw how good he is in that arena with Tom Trbojevic in the centres. They were pretty impressive last year.

"No doubt he'll be doing everything he can to get back for club footy, get some time under his belt and then get on with Origin."

With Mitchell out, Cook will now form part of a spine with five-eighth Cody Walker that boasts some of the club's most inexperienced yet highly-rated youngsters.

Lachlan Ilias has been filling the void left by Adam Reynolds and Blake Taaffe will take Mitchell's No.1 jumper against Canterbury on Friday.

Taaffe covered for Mitchell when he was suspended in the Rabbitohs' run to last season's grand final and helped the club win a Jersey Flegg (under 20s) title with Ilias as his halves partner.

Walker has been quiet to start this season after a blistering run of form in 2021 which yielded 33 try assists.

Cook said the five-eighth was the subject of more defensive scrutiny than ever before but was at ease with his slow start.

"I think he's pretty relaxed at the moment," Cook said.

"He's drawing a lot more attention because of the year he had last year.

"You're going to have games where you run a lot more, I've learned that the last few years. You've just got to play every game on its merits."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.