Richards Final Dream Still Alive

Three days ago he was no chance, but on Tuesday Wigan Warriors' new signing Pat Richards' dream of an NRL grand final farewell is alive.

Richards was on Tuesday named in an extended Wests Tigers line up for Sunday's showpiece against the Cowboys at Telstra Stadium.

While Tigers coach Tim Sheens isn't banking on having Richards back on deck just yet, the picture brightened for the flyer on Tuesday.

"The medical staff said `no' the other day and they said `well maybe' today," Sheens said.

"I suppose it won't be a grand final week (unless) someone's in a hyperbaric chamber. We'll just wait and see what happens but we'll make some contingency plans, put it that way."

But Sheens has given Richards every chance to make the final and he has vowed to do "everything I can" to play.

Richards suffered the injury during the Tigers' upset win over St George Illawarra last weekend and was given no chance to recover in time for the decider at Telstra Stadium.

But the Wigan-bound winger, who has not missed a game all season, will now be given until Saturday to prove his fitness after scans confirmed there was no break in the bone.

"It's a long way away, but I'm keeping my chances open," Richards said today.

"I had the x-ray done and there is no break or fracture there. I had the MRI results as well, so there is a partial tear in a couple of ligaments there, but the swelling is coming down.

"It's going to be day by day, see how the swelling goes. The swelling has come down today, it's been pretty good, and I just have to keep going with my rehab, it's going well so far.

"I'll keep working really hard and hopefully it will work out."

Asked if he was prepared to take painkillers to take the field, Richards replied: "I'll have to talk to the doctor about that but I will do everything I can to get on the field."

It is understood Sheens' contingency plans includes rookie flanker Shane McDonnell, who will replace Richards if he is unable to play despite the fact he has played just one first grade game to date, against Penrith in round 26.

"I don't think I'll announce that just at this stage, I don't need to put anyone under any pressure, we'll just leave it at Patty at the moment," Sheens said of Richards' possible replacement.

The loss of Richards would be a huge blow for the Tigers. Not only has he scored 19 tries this season, but his booming drop goals and towering kick-offs have been instrumental in gaining valuable field position for the joint-venture club.

"Patty's played every game so far and if he doesn't play he's going to be a big loss to our team ... I feel sorry for him if he's going to miss out," captain Scott Prince said.

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