Boyd set for return for Broncos
Brisbane Broncos captain Darius Boyd is set to make his return from a broken thumb on Friday night when his side travels to ANZ Stadium to face the Parramatta Eels.
Boyd broke his thumb during Game Two of this year's State of Origin series, with the Queensland Maroons centre missing over a month of football after undergoing surgery just days after suffering the injury.
The doctor has now cleared him to return, but he must first make it past one final hurdle before donning Broncos colours again.
Despite being named in the No.1 jersey, Boyd said he would have to make it through training on Thursday before he could guarantee he would play.
While the 30-year-old wants to get back out on the field as soon as possible, he admitted he was struggling to have confidence in his thumb that was still heavily strapped just three days out from Brisbane's clash with the Eels.
"I wasn't very confident on Monday but getting through Tuesday made me feel a lot more confident. As long as I get through training on Thursday then I'll play," Boyd said.
"It's just getting used to the soreness and catching passes and bombs. I suppose getting that confidence when tackling and wrestling and using it [is the next step].
"On Monday I was probably wary of it a little bit and leaving it out of catches and tackles. It's probably my own head [that's the problem].
"It's all good to go. I got the doctor's approval once I got the pins out. It's just about me being confident and going out there and doing what I need to do.
"It's been hard [watching] but it's been good because the boys have been playing really well. Whether that was at the Broncos or in Origin.
"Winning makes it a lot easier to watch. I'm definitely ready to play though. I'm keen to get back into it and start contributing to the team."
Boyd comes back to a side that has won three of its past four matches, with Brisbane's three victories all coming with three different players at fullback.
Jordan Kahu, Jamayne Isaako and Kodi Nikorima have all been great contributors at fullback in recent weeks, and Boyd said this had been the most enjoyable aspect of Brisbane's impressive run of form.
"I think that's been the most pleasing thing about the whole team, especially during the Origin period when guys like Benji [Marshall], Kodi and Jamayne came in and did a great job," he said.
"There's plenty of guys coming in and keeping the team on track, and winning some games that we didn't win last year. I think that's really going to help us heading into the finals."
Nikorima has dropped out of the Broncos' 17 after starring at fullback in Brisbane's 42-12 blowout win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 20.
Named at 18th man this week, Nikorima is fighting the clock to be a late inclusion as he battles a hip complaint that saw him miss Tuesday's training session.