Injured Lockyer impresses Broncos coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injured Lockyer impresses Broncos coach

By Laine Clark 20/09/2011 05:32:56 PM Comments (0)

Two days after facial surgery, Darren Lockyer was supposed to be an observer during the Broncos' contact training session on Tuesday.

Then assistant coach Allan Langer put a kick up.

In that unmistakable voice, Lockyer's call of "that's mine" echoed around the Red Hill ground.

The Brisbane skipper jumped and most observers - including Broncos CEO Paul White - held their breath.

Not surprising considering Lockyer had his cheek broken by teammate Gerard Beale's knee while trying to do the same thing on Saturday.

But Lockyer snaffled up the kick, with Beale understandably hanging back.

"That shows that he has his head around playing," said Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin said.

"If he was out there trying to put on a show for you he wouldn't have put himself in that situation.

"He is doing everything he can to get on the field."

Lockyer led his team out to training without the protective headgear he's considering wearing if he plays in Friday night's NRL preliminary final against Manly.

It ensured there was no hiding the surgeon's handiwork as he received cheers from the Broncos faithful.

Despite a badly bruised left eye and swollen cheek, Lockyer reached for the padded body suit used for contact drills as he strode to the field.

But he was kept out of harm's way after completing light duties.

Indeed at one stage he hung so far back from teammates during the contact session that one wag said: "Looks like Lockyer is playing - at fullback!"

But Lockyer could only exclude himself for so long as instinct took over.

"He has shown a tremendous amount of courage, to be out there doing what he is doing," Griffin said.

But Lockyer said: "I am not trying to look courageous. I just reckon I am capable of playing."

While Lockyer said his one-year-old son Sunny had given him some funny looks since the surgery, he claimed his family would be behind whatever decision he made ahead of Friday night's game.

"They will support me if I do play and if I don't play," said Lockyer, who risks losing sight in his left eye.

And if he has already played his last NRL game before end of season retirement?

"I have no regrets," Lockyer said.

"I can't change what has happened, you deal with it.

"If I don't play I would still walk away happy."

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