Injured Broncos fullback backs Beale - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injured Broncos fullback backs Beale

Laine Clark 08/09/2011 05:11:21 PM Comments (0)

A shattered Josh Hoffman has backed Gerard Beale to pick up where he left off as Brisbane fullback in their looming NRL finals campaign.

But Beale shouldn't get too comfortable in the No.1 jersey.

Hoffman has vowed to make 2012 "his year" as he recovers from his second serious leg injury of the season.

Hoffman has been relegated to watching Broncos training in a knee brace after being ruled out for the season on finals-eve with a torn posterior cruciate ligament.

It was a cruel blow for Hoffman, who not only misses a chance to give retiring skipper Darren Lockyer a winning send-off but also any hope of chiming into the Four Nations for New Zealand.

Yet Wendell Sailor's 23-year-old cousin had every faith in another who may yet run out for the Kiwis at the end of season tournament - Beale.

Indeed Beale filled in for Hoffman so well earlier this year when the luckless Broncos No.1 missed 10 weeks with a broken leg that he made New Zealand's trans-Tasman Test squad.

"It's just another hump that I have to overcome," Hoffman said of his knee injury on the Broncos website.

"The broken leg was a bit of a shock to me, now this come finals - I am a bit shattered.

"But Bealey has been playing really well this year - hopefully he can finish off what we both started."

However, Hoffman then added with a smile: "Next year will be my year."

Hoffman also revealed that he unwittingly spent seven minutes on the field against Manly last round with the serious knee injury before limping off.

He said the damage was done in a sixth minute tackle - but he did not leave until his knee "felt disjointed" in the 13th as he returned a kick.

"A player tackled me from behind and my knee hit the ground really hard, it was weak from there," Hoffman said of the initial tackle that did the damage.

"When it first happened, he (the trainer) asked me if I was right but I tried to play on but just felt discomfort and looseness in my knee.

"When they kicked the ball down-field I tried to turn but it felt disjointed - it was a bit of a shock to me."

But Hoffman playing on with a serious knee injury should not come as a surprise.

He had revealed earlier this year that he walked around for three weeks with a broken leg because he thought he was nursing a cork.

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