No return date yet for Oates
There is still no timeline on when Corey Oates will return to the NRL, with the Brisbane Broncos winger continuing to fight a staph infection that has sidelined him for the past two weeks.
Oates was hospitalised moments before Brisbane's Round 17 loss to the Melbourne Storm, suffering pain in his hips and throughout the lower half of his body.
In positive news, Oates is now out of hospital, battling the illness at home with the aid of a nurse and antibiotics.
Teammate Andrew McCullough has spoken to the 22-year-old on a number of occasions, and he said Oates was desperate to get out of the house and re-join the Broncos' playing group despite being in pain.
"I've spoken to Corey a few times. I think the big fella is getting quite tired and bored of sitting at home," McCullough said.
"It's quite rare what actually did happen to him so it's hard to know what's going on and how long he will be.
"Corey just wants to get out of the house more than anything and mix it with the boys."
But McCullough said Oates would not be rushed back, with rest vital in his recovery.
"I think it's just a wait and see type thing," he said.
"He's still walking around on a bit of medication and he is still in some pain. He also has a nurse that comes and sees him.
"It's a tough one for him. I think more so not being around that team morale is the hardest thing.
"It's a pretty bad infection and they reckon it's pretty rare. It was pretty strange but hopefully he gets better. It's just hard to give a timeline of when he will be back."
It is clear Oates has the full support of the club behind him, with Broncos CEO Paul White sending a message of support to the 89-gamer.
"He's in good spirits but it's far too early to tell when he will be back, so it's just important that he rests up," White told Broncos.com.au.
"The most important thing is that he takes his time to get well. His health and welfare are the main factors as far as the club is concerned."
For now Brisbane must go on without Oates and they face another challenge this week when they travel to McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night to take on a desperate Newcastle Knights outfit.