NRL season over for Broncos' No.1 Hoffman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL season over for Broncos' No.1 Hoffman

By Wayne Heming 05/09/2011 06:51:27 PM Comments (0)

Gifted Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman's NRL season has come to a shattering end with a knee injury putting him out of the finals and scuppering his chances of playing for New Zealand in the end-of-year Four Nations.

While scans on Monday confirmed the talented 23-year-old had torn his posterior cruciate ligament, they also cleared him of more serious structural damage which would have required major surgery.

Instead, Hoffman will wear a knee brace for five to six weeks and will aim to be back for the start of the 2012 season.

The injury is a cruel blow for the Mackay product, who has more than filled the vacancy left by international Karmichael Hunt.

He was Brisbane's player-of-the-year in 2010 and was playing outstanding football this season.

Hoffman recently scored his first NRL hat-trick and had a star turn against South Sydney before suffering his latest injury when hit awkwardly in a tackle playing against Manly on Sunday.

"He's going to be in a brace for the next six weeks - he's gone," Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin told AAP.

"It's a cruel bit of luck but unfortunately it's been that type of year for him."

Griffin said while the news would be tough for Hoffman to swallow, it could have been worse.

"I spoke to (orthopaedic specialist) Dr Peter Myers and the news was as good as it could have been," said Griffin, who will shift Gerard Beale into the No.1 jumper for Saturday's qualifying final against the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium.

"He's not going to require surgery. They were a little bit worried that he's done some other structural damage around the knee after the game because it was pretty loose.

"I spoke to Peter (Myers) after the scans and he was really happy with it and, as bad as it is, it's as good as they could have hoped for and he's not going to need surgery."

Beale was outstanding at the start of the season, playing fullback when Hoffman was out injured, and Griffin has no concerns giving him the job for the finals.

"He's a great kid and he's really come on this year," he said.

"We won't lose too much there and we've got Justin Hodges coming back."

Hodges, who has been recovering from a hamstring injury, was close to playing against Manly at the weekend.

"He could have played if it was a must-win game or a grand final. He was very, very close," said Griffin.

"All his rehab has been aimed at this game and he's in pretty good nick."

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