Focus on Keary as Manu a late Roosters out

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A quad injury to utility Joey Manu will put extra pressure on Luke Keary to spark the Sydney Roosters' attack on his return from a long-term concussion against Newcastle.

Keary hasn't played since the Roosters' loss to Melbourne on June 11 but makes his comeback on Friday night.

"He (Keary) passed them (concussion protocols) a fair while ago and he was pretty keen on playing last week," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.

"We felt like he just needed a bit more training after a few weeks off.

"He's worked his way back into contact over the last few weeks."

For the past two games, Manu has deputised in the halves to startling effect and was also devastating in New Zealand's recent Test win over Tonga while playing as a fullback, leading to calls for Robinson to persist with him in the spine

Robinson had been planning for the 26-year-old to share the attacking load with Keary and playmaker Sam Walker.

However, Manu succumbed to a quad injury on the day before the game and will be replaced by Adam Keighran in the centres, meaning the Roosters will need to re-think their approach.

He joins Sitili Tupouniua, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Billy Smith as a recent inclusion in the Roosters casualty ward; all three picked up injuries in last week's big win over St George Illawarra.

In better news, the Roosters will bring Jared Waerea-Hargreaves back from a hamstring injury for his first game since round 12.

Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien, meanwhile, said it was a straightforward decision to pick playmaker Anthony Milford after he announced he would link up with the Wayne Bennett-coached Dolphins next year.

"I understand and respect his decision, he's got a young family and their support network is back in Brisbane," O'Brien said.

"I am focused on getting us better each week and not looking at a long-term thing and for that to happen we wanted Anthony in the team."

O'Brien said backrower Tyson Frizell (ribs) and winger Edrick Lee (foot) would both play, although English winger Dominic Young won't be passed fit as he deals with a rib complaint.

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