Broncos sweat on Corey Oates while Cowboys name Matt Scott in extended squad

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The jury is out on whether Corey Oates will return from a horror head knock, despite Brisbane naming the recovering winger for Friday night's NRL preliminary final against an unchanged Melbourne.

Corey Oates goes in to score

Corey Oates goes in to score

Source: Photosport

But North Queensland were adamant Matt Scott was unlikely to make a stunning return from a knee reconstruction after including him in their 21-strong squad for Saturday night's grand-final qualifier with the Sydney Roosters.

Oates was Brisbane's biggest concern after they welcomed back skipper Darius Boyd and bench forward Tevita Pangai Junior from hamstring injuries, forcing a backline reshuffle.

Oates has been on modified training at the Broncos since a sickening first-half collision with teammate Anthony Milford in last week's 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith.

Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday said they would not rush a decision on Oates and would not know more until at least Thursday.

"We will see with Corey. He is still doing some modified training. It's something you don't want to rush," he said.

"Something as severe as Corey was pretty sickening to see."

But Brisbane hooker Ben Hunt believed the early signs were good from Oates.

"I am sure he will do his best to play," he said.

"He seems to be going around training, throwing a bit of chat around, so he is getting back to his usual self."

Boyd returns to fullback after two weeks sidelined, moving incumbent No.1 Kodi Nikorima to halfback and relegating veteran Benji Marshall to the bench.

Meanwhile, Cowboys coach Paul Green admitted it would be a "calculated risk" to play Scott after naming him on an extended bench against the Roosters.

Matt Scott

But Green insisted the Test prop was unlikely to return from a knee reconstruction at Allianz Stadium.

"I think he wanted me to name him so, given he's one of our captains and he's worked as hard as what he has, I at least owe him that," Green said.

"(But) as long as everyone gets through training, I don't expect the team to change."

Scott suffered the injury in round two.

Back-rower Coen Hess (knee) and winger Antonio Winterstein (ribs) are expected to participate in the Cowboys' first training session of the week on Wednesday.

North Queensland line up against a Roosters outfit who welcome winger Daniel Tupou back to the starting side, moving Ryan Matterson to the bench and Joseph Manu to the reserves.

Roosters enforcer Zane Tetevano returns from suspension on the bench.

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