Old Locky back says happy Hodgo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Old Locky back says happy Hodgo

Wayne Heming 01/03/2011 07:06:59 PM Comments (0)

Star centre Justin Hodges says Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer has recaptured the form and confidence to ensure he's remembered as one of the greatest players of all time.

Hodges, who is battling a minor hamstring tear to be fit for the Broncos' 2011 season opener against North Queensland next Friday, said he'd noticed a difference in his skipper at training that suggests the "old Lockyer" is back.

Lockyer looked extremely sharp in his first trial appearance against Melbourne on Saturday night, carrying the football to the line and pushing into gaps.

"I think we're starting to see a bit of the old Locky back," said Hodges, who's confident his latest injury won't rule him out of his NRL comeback after missing the entire 2010 season.

"I think he's more confident and starting to get over the knee injury he had a couple of years back (2007).

"He's starting to run the ball again, not just passing the ball.

"You can see the new life in him.

"It's going to be a big year for him and if he brings out the old Locky it's going to be a big year for the Broncos as well."

Lockyer said earlier in the week he'd found some of his old zip after rupturing his anterior cruciate late in 2007.

From all reports his knee was a "mess" when he underwent a total reconstruction late in 2007.

Despite turning 33 next month, Lockyer has committed himself to another representative season in which he could pass Allan Langer as Queensland's most capped player and also overtake Kiwi great Ruben Wiki's record 55 Tests for his country.

"Locky is almost 33 but if you come and watch training he's out there beating all the kids who are 18 and 19," said Hodges.

"He's miles ahead of some of them and it just shows he's one of those guys who never dies and never quits."

Lockyer's preparation is meticulous and he's his own harshest critic.

The day he returned to training in January -- two months behind his teammates -- he was turning in the best times and leading a lot of the drills.

"Even when he had his knee, he did everything right, the extra little things, it's makes him the special player he is," said Hodges.

"He is going to go down as one of the greatest players of all time."

Hodges said he would not push the limits to play against the Cowboys if his hamstring wasn't right.

He's only just recovered from a ruptured Achilles which prevented him playing one minute of the 2010 season and would dread another another long stint on the sidelines.

"It would be disappointing to miss the game," he said.

"I'd love to be out there for round one but it's a long season and obviously I have to be patient."

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