Three return for injury-hit Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Three return for injury-hit Broncos

By Wayne Heming 28/07/2009 07:13:45 PM Comments (0)

After 12 weeks of fielding State of Origin-depleted sides Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak felt like he'd won Lotto on Tuesday after naming a team that included a few of his superstars.

Not all the cavalry is back for Saturday's must-win NRL clash with Canberra.

But the names Darren Lockyer, Karmichael Hunt and Tonie Carroll were enough to have Henjak smiling despite six losses from their last seven games.

And why not.

Next week he'll be able to add Peter Wallace, Sam Thaiday and possibly Nick Kenny to the list as Brisbane make a last ditch push to keep the club's amazing record of 17 straight finals appearances alive.

Brisbane's injury crisis had been so bad Henjak joked he'd considered calling up the club's media man, Trad McLean, a handy forward in the Gold Coast-Tweed competition a decade ago.

But with three big guns back this weekend and Origin commitments finally over, Henjak believes Brisbane can mount a strong bid for the finals in the coming weeks.

Despite being precariously placed just outside the top eight, Henjak was not prepared to gamble on the fitness or health of Wallace and Thaiday.

Both should be ready to return the following weekend against the Sharks at home.

Youngster Ben Hunt, who atoned for his disappointing debut against Cronulla with a solid game last weekend against the Titans, will get another run in the No.7, this time with Lockyer outside him.

"Wal (Wallace) would have been there if there was any chance but we didn't want to take the risk of losing him for four weeks or maybe for the season if he did his hammy again," explained Henjak.

"The medical advice was not to risk it."

It was the same story for Thaiday, still not 100 per cent after injuring his ribs in the fiery end to Origin III earlier this month.

"There's a chance he could damage it (the rib) further if we needled it and not know about it and again, that could be the season for him as well," said Henjak.

While Henjak would have liked his full compliment of injured players back, he thinks the players he has now can get the job done.

"The guys that are coming back will help," he said.

"It would be nice to have the others back as well but three is enough.

"I'll take anyone at the moment."

Canberra, meanwhile, have made some changes with skipper Alan Tongue named as starting hooker and Josh McCrone recalled at halfback with Marc Herbert sidelined for three weeks with a broken hand.

Nigel Plum will start at lock for Tongue.

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