Morris firms as Roosters' Manu replacement

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Sydney Roosters are hopeful veteran Josh Morris can return from his hamstring injury against Canberra on Thursday night after losing centre Joseph Manu to a nasty facial fracture.

Manu underwent facial reconstruction surgery in Brisbane on Saturday after copping an ugly high shot from Latrell Mitchell in Friday night's heavy NRL loss to South Sydney.

He was expected to be released rom hospital to rejoin the team's hub on Sunday night as he recovers.

The loss of the world-class centre comes as another huge blow for the Roosters who have battled the competition's heaviest injury toll this season, particularly in the outside backs.

"(Manu) has been one of our best for sure," said skipper James Tedesco on Sunday.

"It sucks, we've had so many different injuries... we've got a few guys coming back from injuries this week too which is really pleasing, we've been really down on troops.

"It sucks for Joey, he hasn't missed that many games in the past three or four years.

"He's played his best footy this year so it's disappointing to miss the rest of the year."

But as has been the trend this season, the Roosters have a replacement ready to step up.

Ex-international Morris, 35, has been sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury but he is eyeing off a return for the final round before finals.

"He's been training really well for the past four or five weeks, he looks ready to go," Tedesco said.

"He's got to do a few more strength tests to make sure he's ready to go. It's pretty touch and go with hammys, especially at his age, he wants to make sure it's ready to go.

"Fingers crossed J Moz (Morris) comes in and (Adam Keighran) comes back in as well and hopefully Nat (Butcher) as well."

NSW Origin star Angus Crichton is set to return from a three-week suspension for a crusher tackle, while prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee) is also a chance to play the Raiders.

Mathematically the Roosters are a chance to finish in the top four with a win over the Raiders but will need other results to fall their way with Parramatta and Manly also chasing fourth spot spot.

The 54-12 loss to Souths was costly in many ways, but it hasn't killed off the Roosters' hope.

"It's not do or die, it would have been nice to be in the top four, we've still got a chance," Tedesco said.

"We've just got to win all our games really.

"That's all our focus has been, doesn't matter if we're top four or not we've just got to keep winning every week."

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