Casualty Ward Round 7: Lodge set to overcome rib injury
All the latest injury news leading into round seven of the 2018 Telstra Premiership.
Matt Lodge has been backed by teammates to recover from a rib cartilage injury to face the Melbourne Storm after sitting out the Brisbane Broncos’ field training session on Tuesday. Lodge suffered the injury in last Saturday's win over the Warriors and after being named in the starting line-up will be given until later in the week to prove his fitness for Friday night’s clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Test forward Josh McGuire said he had no doubt Lodge, who was cleared of any fractures, would be on deck to tackle one of the Broncos' fiercest rivals. "It's just a painful injury," McGuire said of Lodge’s rib concern. "He'll be fine, he's a tough man, he's played through injury before."
Fellow forward Alex Glenn said the Broncos would manage Lodge’s injury through the week to make sure he was "ready to go". The Broncos have named Jack Bird and Anthony Milford to continue the successful halves combination which accounted for the Warriors with Kodi Nikorima reverting to the bench utility role. Glenn said Bird had performed strongly and that it was a plus “having a nippy player like Kodi when forwards get tired” to come on and make an impact off the bench.
Bird slotted into the five-eighth role at Brisbane training on Tuesday with the former Cronulla Shark appearing to relish having his hands on the ball more often than he did in the centres. The Broncos have won just two of their previous 15 encounters with the Storm and have not beaten them at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.
"We know it is one of the games they mark off on their calendar and especially up at Suncorp,” Glenn said. "We have to make sure we back up what we did last week with high completions, defending really well and limiting [Cameron] Smith getting out of dummy half really quick."
Jordan Kahu (jaw, round 9-12)
Andre Savelio (knee, season)
Matt Gillett (neck, round 16-18)
Matt Lodge (ribs, round 7-8)
Kodi Nikorima (thigh, round 7)
Charlie Gubb (groin, round 9)
Josh Hodgson (knee, round 18)
Sam Williams (knee, round 11)
Aiden Tolman (ankle, round 13-15)
James Segeyaro has been named to return from a concussion, while Jayson Bukuya (groin) is another week away. Shane Flanagan has named Wade Graham, Luke Lewis and Andrew Fifita despite the star trio all suffering injuries that are tipped to keep them out this weekend.
James Segeyaro (concussion, round 7)
Jayson Bukuya (groin, round 8)
Paul Gallen (knee, round 11-12)
Andrew Fifita (knee, round 7-10)
Wade Graham (hamstring, round 8-11)
Luke Lewis (cork, round 7-8)
Gold Coast Titans
Hooker Nathan Peats suffered a fractured rib against Penrith that the club predicts will keep him out for 4-6 weeks, though coach Garth Brennan says his tough hooker may be back sooner.
Dale Copley (hamstring) is also facing up to a month on the sidelines, while Morgan Boyle (head knock) will have to pass concussion protocols after a head clash with Bryce Cartwright.
Jai Arrow (back spasms, round 7)
Dale Copley (hamstring, round 10-11)
Nathan Peats (ribs, round 11-13)
Morgan Boyle (concussion, monitored)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Curtis Sironen (knee, season)
Kelepi Tanginoa (knee, season)
Jorge Taufua (collarbone, round 12)
Sandor Earl is closing in on a comeback from knee surgery, well ahead of schedule. The 28-year-old winger ruptured his ACL in the pre-season and there were initial fears he may not play at all in 2018 but told melbournestorm.com.au he is aiming for Round 17.
Jahrome Hughes (shoulder, round 8)
Dale Finucane (thumb, round 9-11)
Cheyse Blair (knee, round 7-8)
Sandor Earl (knee, round 17)
Tautau Moga (knee, season)
Connor Watson (shoulder, round 10-12)
Nick Meaney (ankle, round 13)
North Queensland Cowboys
Shaun Fensom has returned to training with the first grade squad as his recovery from a horrific broken leg in last year's grand final continues.
Shaun Fensom (leg, TBC)
Kane Linnett (pectoral, round 13)
Jordan McLean (foot, round 16)
Josh Chudleigh (knee, season)
Jarryd Hayne has been named to make a surprise early return from a quad injury that had been expected to keep him out for another fortnight, as has Kiwi international Brad Takairangi (eye socket).
Bevan French won't play reserve grade after being dropped, instead taking an extra week to get his troublesome shoulder right, while Tepai Moeroa is also sitting out after a couple of head knocks against Canberra.
Jarryd Hayne (quad, round 7)
Greg Leleisiuao (ankle, round 7)
Brad Takairangi (eye socket, round 7)
Nathan Brown (ankle, round 8)
Bevan French (shoulder, round 8)
Tepai Moeroa (concussion, round 8)
Winger Josh Mansour copped a head knock after colliding with Anthony Don's knee as the Titans winger was trying to retrieve a Kane Elgey kick. Mansour is set to undergo surgery on his cheekbone once swelling subsides, with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak named to come back from his own fractured jaw this week.
Halfback Nathan Cleary told Fox Sports he expects to start running next week, and is hoping for an early return, possibly round 10 or 11. Tyrone Phillips is well ahead of schedule in his return from a pectoral injury but Tyrone May (knee) has been delayed another month.
Waqa Blake (ankle, round 14)
Tyrone May (knee, round 9)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (jaw, round 7)
Tyrone Phillips (pectoral, round 7-8)
Nathan Cleary (knee, round 10-11)
Tim Browne (bowel, indefinite)
Sam McKendry (knee, season)
Josh Mansour (cheekbone, indefinite)
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Cameron Murray is rated a 50/50 chance of taking the field this week by the Rabbitohs after going down with a hamstring issue in the lead-up to their round six loss to the Roosters. He has been named on an extended bench by Anthony Seibold.
Cameron Murray (hamstring, TBC)
Tyrell Fuimaono (dislocated toe, round 14)
St George Illawarra Dragons
Sio Siua Taukeiaho has been cleared of surgery after follow-up scans on the pre-game knee injury that ruled him out of last Thursday's loss to the Rabbitohs. He has been named on an extended bench against the Bulldogs but was initially facing up to two weeks out with damaged cartilage.
Daniel Tupou (pectoral, round 13-15)
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (knee, round 8-9)
The Warriors have named Solomone Kata for their bumper clash with the Dragons despite fears he would be out for a month with an ankle injury. Stephen Kearney says the Tongan centre is still a chance to take on St. George-Illawarra.
James Gavet (hamstring, round 8)
Blake Ayshford (back, indefinite)
Gerard Beale (leg, round 9)
Nathaniel Roache (neck, season)
Leivaha Pulu (foot, TBC)
Solomona Kata (ankle, round 9-10)
Veterans Chris Lawrence (hamstring) and Josh Reynolds (shoulder) have been kept on ice. Lawrence should only miss a week but Reynolds could be out for a month. Elijah Taylor has been picked to return from his own hamstring concerns against the Knights.
Russell Packer (knee, round 10)
Elijah Taylor (hamstring, round 7)
Chris Lawrence (hamstring, round 8)
Josh Reynolds (shoulder, round 8-11)