Broncos without Hodges until NRL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos without Hodges until NRL finals

By Wayne Heming 23/08/2011 05:43:04 PM Comments (0)

Justin Hodges' latest hamstring drama has given Brisbane NRL team-mate Ben Te'o the chance to overcome some demons of his own against South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Hodges will have scans on Wednesday to determine if there is a small tear in his hamstring.

However, strength and flexibility tests carried out by the club's medical staff on Tuesday produced some encouraging signs that he would be back for the finals, most likely missing Brisbane's final two games of the regular season.

It means three weeks after returning from his second broken arm this season, Te'o will mark up on Souths game-breaker Greg Inglis and monster forward Dave Taylor who play on the left edge.

Te'o revealed earlier this month the fear of a third break ending his career prematurely was in the back of his mind.

Sunday's assignment will not only be a massive physical test for him but also a mental one.

"I thought he played very well against the Cowboys," said Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin.

"He's a very good defender and he's starting to get back to his best football."

Te'o's 106kgs will be very handy against Inglis and Taylor, the biggest wide-running duo in the NRL.

Griffin said medical tests on Hodges, who left the field early in the second half of Brisbane's 26-6 win over Newcastle on Monday night, were encouraging.

"He had a lot of strength and flexibility and was walking pain-free today," said Griffin.

"He's had two hamstrings, the first was four weeks off after a (pre-season) trial against Redcliffe and then six weeks after Penrith.

"This one is not as a bad as either of those two.

"He'll miss the game against Souths and probably Manly.

"Locky's last game against Manly is an occasion but we'll have a home final after that and we want Hodgo right for that."

Griffin said prop Ben Hannant would be returning for the key clash after recovering from a hip injury that had kept him out of action for two games.

Hannant was named on the Broncos' bench on Tuesday with the impressive Josh McGuire, man of the match against the Knights, maintaining his starting spot.

"Josh in maturing," said Griffin.

"He's getting more confident at that level now and he wants to keep playing there."

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