Comeback hero Jharal Yow Yeh has pledged to stand by Broncos teammate Jordan Kahu as the 23-year-old faces a potential third knee reconstruction in four years.
One of the leading candidates for Brisbane's vacant five-eighth position, Kahu went down in the closing minutes of the Broncos' 32-8 trial loss to the Cowboys in front of 11,200 fans at Redcliffe. Initial fears were that he had torn the ACL in his left knee, having previously had two reconstructions on his right knee in successive seasons in 2011-2012.
Shortly after full-time Broncos coach Anthony Griffin maintained some hope that the injury was not as serious as first feared but Yow Yeh says that even if Kahu has to go through the torturous recovery process again his teammates will be there to help him get back on the field.
"He's tough and if he does go through something like that again I know he'll get through it because he's done it twice before," Yow Yeh said after playing 50 minutes in his first game for the Broncos in almost two years and coming through unscathed.
"All us boys and the coaching staff and everyone's with him and if he has to go through that again I know that he won't take one step backwards. Jordy's a good mate of mine and I know that he'll go really well.
"I was just saying to him that we'll get through it. He's a great talent so he'll bounce back."
Kahu will have scans on the knee on Sunday and coach Griffin for one hopes that there is more good news than there has been in Kahu's previous visits to the specialist.
"I just hope he's all right," Griffin said. "To be honest, the first diagnosis wasn't real good but since he's cooled down in the shed he's got a lot more strength back in his knee so there is a little bit of hope there that it is not the worst.
"When he first did it we thought he was gone but we'll wait and see how he goes with the scan.
"I couldn't believe it when he was down... but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
"You see a guy like that who has had so much bad luck and you see him there in the doctor's room... It's not a nice thing."
While the news was potentially shattering for Kahu and Dale Copley's comeback after 12 months out through injury was brought to an end courtesy of concussion caused by crashing into a teammate, the return of Yow Yeh was one of success.
With his first touch of the game he made a strong run out of dummy half and defensively he acquitted himself well in the face of a rampaging Jason Taumalolo on the Cowboys' left edge.
An NRL game may yet remain out of reach but Yow Yeh says he can take plenty of confidence from how his ankle held up in what was a physical encounter against a powerful Cowboys team.
"It puts my mind at rest a little bit, knowing that I have done something like that now. I've got the trial out of the way and hopefully I can go that next step," Yow Yeh said.
"I probably will have to have another trial – and a full game – just to see if I can get through the game and how I feel afterwards I feel surprisingly good at the moment. I thought I was going to be really, really sore but everything's come together and turned out all right.
"I had fun. I was enjoying my footy again and it just came to me again, what I used to do on the field and I enjoyed playing with all those boys out there."
The injury to Kahu, an exciting performance from young half Kodi Nikorima yet a quiet showing from five-eighth Zach Strasser will give Griffin further cause for debate as to the halves combination that the Broncos will take into Round 1.
Ben Hunt was all but guaranteed the halfback spot but with the uncertainty around the No.6 position there is the possibility now that Hunt will move to five-eighth and Nikorima will start at halfback.