Lockyer on path for NRL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer on path for NRL comeback

07/07/2008 07:59:10 PM Comments (0)

Champion Brisbane five-eighth Darren Lockyer hopes to bury rumours his playing days are numbered with a successful NRL comeback against the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

The Broncos are set to launch their surge at the finals with injured halves Lockyer (knee) and two-game Origin halfback Peter Wallace (groin) reunited against a desperate Dogs.

Lockyer and Wallace have only played alongside each other in six of 17 games this season.

Lockyer hasn't appeared since setting up Brisbane's last minute 30-26 win over Parramatta on May 30.

Wallace has been sidelined since rupturing a testicle in the second State of Origin on June 11.

Both are confident of teaming up on Sunday as the sixth placed Broncos start the last nine rounds just seven points behind Manly, the Roosters and Sharks all on 26 points.

Broncos performance director Jeremy Hickmans was talking up Lockyer's chances despite past comeback failures which have frustrated his efforts to regain full use of his reconstructed right knee.

Hickmans has cleared Lockyer to return to team training on Tuesday.

"He'll train with the squad tomorrow and we'll build him up through the week," said Hickmans who's given Brisbane's Origin players an extended break.

"His rehab this time has gone fantastically and we're looking very positive for the weekend."

Lockyer pushed his last campaign too hard in the hope of playing in the second Origin game last month.

But Hickmans believes he's got it right this time.

Brisbane's medical staff enjoyed a "chuckle" over speculation Lockyer would not play again.

"We had a little chuckle when we saw that one, there's no truth in that," said Hickmans.

"Darren just needed time for (cartilage) to settle down and he pushed it too hard to get back for Origin.

"As he's said himself, it probably wasn't the right decision and he's stepped back to get it right.

"He's done everything right and I don't think we can do any more for him at the moment."

Wallace was confident of getting through 80 minutes despite being able to do very little fitness work because of the nature of his injury.

"I haven't seen Lockyer this week but I hear he's a chance," said Wallace whose groin injury prevented him playing for NSW in last week's series decider.

"I've hardly done anything since it happened and it might take a few weeks to get my fitness back.

"Because of the nature of the injury I couldn't do weights or run, I just had to take it quietly and I probably lost a bit of fitness.

"We've got nine weeks to go now and six of our last nine games at home and that always helps.

"If we can win six of them we'll be look top four I'd think."

Brisbane get representative centre Justin Hodges back from suspension in two weeks and will be back near full strength.

Utility David Stagg (calf strain) and prop Nick Kenny (ankle) are in some doubt for the Bulldogs clash with Kenny considered the more serious.

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