Cardiff Blues are sweating on the fitness of star centre Casey Laulala ahead of their crunch Amlin Challenge Cup quarter final tie against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.
Laulala, who has been in scintillating form since his summer switch from Super 14 side Canterbury Crusaders, suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone in the Blues' victory against Ulster last week.
However coach Dai Young has revealed that the two-cap All Black could be in contention to face the Falcons after injury fears eased.
Young said "It's touch and go whether Casey will be available. Originally we thought he had fractured his cheekbone but X-rays have shown that that's not the case. We're still waiting for the swelling to go down and are hoping that he'll recover in time."
"Casey offers us something different in midfield and provides a cutting edge. You always want your more experienced and influential players available and Casey is certainly one of those."
Laulala's inclusion would provide a welcomed boost for the Blues after losing Wales centre Tom Shanklin for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
That has added to the region's steadily growing injury list. Young's side are currently missing a number of key performers with British Lion Andy Powell (hamstring), Gareth Cooper (groin), Sam Norton-Knight (back) and Deiniol Jones (rib) all sidelined.
In more positive news for the region, lock Bradley Davies is back in contention following a head injury and prop John Yapp could be recalled having recovered from a bicep injury that he suffered in October.
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
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