Titans' Hipgrave defies potential broken wrist
Keegan Hipgrave, the man Titans skipper Ryan James likens to Greg Bird in toughness, threw himself back into Saturday's 28-14 loss to Melbourne Storm knowing his wrist could be broken because he couldn't stand to leave his team short of troops.
The 21-year-old Gold Coast forward will have X-rays on Sunday but fears the worse.
He went back onto the field at Suncorp Stadium for the final 15 minutes, without a pain-killer, when he saw interchange prop Jack Stockwell reel back in a tackle unconscious, leaving no one on the bench.
When Stockwell suffered the head knock Jarrod Wallace was in the medical room with Will Matthews and Kevin Proctor was already out of the remainder of the game with an abductor injury.
"They didn't say it was or wasn't broken, and I had a little bit of movement and a little bit of strength, so I thought if I got out there I'd be fine," Hipgrave said of his bravery.
"The doctor said I can't go back on with a needle. He said 'what do you want to do?' and I said I was sweet just strap it up.
"I went into the medical room, I saw Jay-Wal [Wallace] and Will Matthew getting stitched up.
"I just thought, we're not going to have a bench and I've got to go back on, then I went to the sideline and saw Stocky get knocked out.
"So there was no time; I just went back on.
"I think all the boys in the team showed a lot of character. It was a massive effort with Jai Arrow out this week and all the injuries we had.
"All the boys dug deep, we couldn't fault the effort or defence it was just a few little errors that cost us in the end."
The Titans played the last 20 minutes with just one player left to call on with starting prop Max King the only one on the interchange bench at full-time.
James said Hipgrave's courage hardly surprised him.
"I know what sort of player Keegan is, I have seen him come up through school; he is just a tough player," said James.
"He does what it required to do what he does for the team.
"He has shown that every game he has played; he plays tough and hard and everything he does is 100 per cent.
"I think once he gets more game time he will be a great player."