TOM Burgess believes big brother Sam is already on the road to recovery.
There were fears a medial knee ligament injury picked up against Australia could rule the England ace out for the whole of the World Cup.
But Burgess is already doing his own specialised training to build the strength and mobility back up in the joint.
And Tom, a team-mate at NRL side South Sydney, believes that is a sign he will be back sooner rather than later, with the quarter finals a possibility.
He said: “He is even feeling a lot better a few days after so that is usually when you can tell, when the dust settles.
“He is feeling good and we are pretty hopeful that we can get him back for the semi or even the quarters.
“But if you said the final this week, he’d be playing.”
Prop Burgess, 25, has been linked with a return to Super League for 2018.
But he quashed talk of a switch, revealing he is set to make a decision on whether to stay at Souths until 2019.
As he and England prepared in the familiar surroundings of his club’s training ground in Redfern, he added: “I signed a new contract last year for two years with a year option so we’re just talking about the year that is optional.
“I cannot see me wanting to leave a great club like Souths. I have to make a call on it mid year.
“I’ve probably played here in Sydney for longer than I did at Bradford and all my family are here too, so Redfern definitely feels like home.”
England boss Wayne Bennett revealed St Helens prop Alex Walmsley will make his international debut in Saturday’s clash with Lebanon.
The St Helens ace missed the 18-4 loss to Australia with a virus but the Aussie said he will definitely feature.
Bennett said: “Alex will be playing. He’s doing it tough with the physio department at the moment but he’ll be playing.
“Regardless of which other players I pick, he’ll definitely be in the team as he should’ve been there on Friday but he wasn’t up to it.”
England will certainly have the crowd against them as Sydney is home to a huge Lebanese ex-pat population, many of whom have sponsored the Cedars for this tournament.
They showed some of their class as they beat France 29-18, with NRL stars Robbie Farah and Mitchell Moses leading the way.
But Burgess, who is a clubmate of hooker Farah, insisted they will not be taken lightly.
He added: “Lebanon have got some great players across the board and they have got a lot of experience.
“They had a lot more experience in games than France did and that showed on the field. It was a tight contest through most of the game but towards the end they ran away with it.
“I know Robbie well from having a year with him and he is one of the smartest if not the best. He has been around a while. Mitch Moses is one of the form half backs too so we are not taking them lightly by any stretch.
“But on Whatsapp last week, Robbie was asking me to promote something. He is always wanting to promote something, he is a businessman.
“I’ll give him a call this week and have a bit of banter.
“But I was surprised Lebanon did not go away with the game more. France did well, they stuck in and they definitely punched above their weight.”
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