Lockyer has nothing more to prove - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer has nothing more to prove

By Steve Jancetic 19/09/2011 06:18:07 PM Comments (0)

His standing among the greatest the game has ever seen is already confirmed, so what will playing on Friday night add to Darren Lockyer's rugby league legacy?

With his face crushed by a teammate's errant knee, Lockyer is contemplating taking on Manly just five days after having three titanium plates inserted under his left eye.

Lockyer is desperate to end his glittering NRL career on a high - a fairytale farewell with a victory lap at ANZ Stadium on October 2.

But at what cost does the Broncos, Queensland and Australian champion chase the dream, with medical experts having warned he risks serious damage to his eyesight if he plays?

With four premierships to his name, there can be no argument about his ability to deliver the ultimate success.

A fifth title will do little to enhance those claims.

Sure, people will praise his courage should he run out at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night, but has his toughness ever been questioned?

A record 355 NRL games over a 17-year career - most as an 85kg playmaker defending in the front line - speaks volumes about how tough he is.

Brisbane officials say they will leave the final decision up to Lockyer himself, but the mind can do funny things when emotion starts to interfere with logic.

Perhaps Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy summed it up best.

"We'd all like to see him play, to continue the fairytale," Bellamy said.

"(But) it's hard for me to believe that a guy that's got three plates in his face, six days later is playing a preliminary final.

"It doesn't seem possible to me. I hope it is ... it would be a tragedy to see him not play again."

That may well be true - but the greater tragedy may be the one no one wants to contemplate.

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