Payne Haas is set to be ruled out of NSW selection for State of Origin I with the Brisbane prop expected to miss two to four weeks with a medial ligament knee injury sustained in a disappointing 40-12 loss to Melbourne on Thursday night.
In a disastrous night for the Broncos highlighted by maligned playmaker Anthony Milford getting benched with 12 minutes to go after a dreadful game where his confidence appeared totally shot, an injury to Haas only compounded what's been a tough year for rookie Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
Walters confirmed after the game that Haas would almost certainly be unavailable for NSW selection on Sunday with an initial diagnosis that a medial ligament strain would keep him off the field for up to a month.
"He is not great. I guess he will have to get his knee looked at properly before we make any decisions around it," Walters said.
"He would have to be in serious doubt for Origin One I would have thought."
Match Highlights: Broncos v Storm
The injury to Haas only rubbed salt into Brisbane's wounds after they showed moments of potential against the Storm only to see any hope wither away off the back of Milford's disappointing performance.
Milford has been dropped twice already this season and even before half-time Broncos legend Corey Parker was predicting in Fox Sports commentary he'd be hooked from the field, so dire was his effort and output.
Walters has always maintained Milford's future at Brisbane was in the star five-eighth's own hands, and just like a first-half football he appears to have thrown it away.
By half-time Milford had four missed tackles and two passes to ground resulting in errors, including one from dummy-half on the first tackle that gifted Melbourne field position that led to Josh Addo-Carr's 15th try of the season in the 37th minute.
Walters said he benched Milford so Dale Copley could get game time, but the fact remains he was woeful against the Storm and his body language was that of a man bereft of answers in his search for form.
"I just think he is disappointed, he is not playing to his ability and that would be frustrating," Walters said.
"It's just about working harder, working smarter and trying to fix it up.
"We are working hard with him to get him right.
"It's not just Milf, it's everyone with their consistency."
When asked if Milford was any chance at getting a new deal at the Broncos Walters said: "I think no one gets a new deal after tonight's performance."
Hetherington grabs his first NRL try
Brisbane's only bright signs came from a try to second-gamer Kobe Hetherington while debutant TC Robati offered intensity off the bench to show the Broncos have some potential young guns still coming through their ranks.
"He was the shining light out there," Walters said of Robati.
"We're very happy to have his signature and he is certainly a player of future for us and a player right for now based on tonight."