By Broncos Media
PAYNE Haas is set to make an unlikely return to the field against Manly on Saturday while Kodi Nikorima has moved in to the halves.
It was thought Haas would be out for two weeks when he was sent for scans on Friday, but a revised diagnosis and the long turnaround between matches has him in the frame to face the Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium.
The teenage Haas was only on the field a few minutes when he rolled his ankle and received a head knock in a collision with the Bulldogs’ defence last Thursday.
But the scans showed a sprain to his lateral ligament – rather than a high ankle sprain – which immediately cut his healing time.
With nine days between matches, Haas is set to do some training tomorrow and has been named on the bench for Saturday’s double header.
“The scans revealed it was a lateral ligament sprain rather than high ankle sprain, which is a much lower-level injury,” said Broncos’ High Performance Manager Jeremy Hickmans.
“He has responded really well to rehabilitation and is a chance to do some light skills alongside his concussion protocol tomorrow.”
Coach Wayne Bennett today named the same 17 that defeated the Bulldogs 22-20 last Thursday, but shuffled his backline.
He has brought the dangerous Nikorima back into halfback and moved Jack Bird back to the centres.
Tom Opacic goes back to the bench where he will provide cover for the backline. Opacic can also handle short stints in the forwards.
Sam Tagataese and Patrick Mago are on the extended bench and shape as the options for Bennett should Haas not recover by Saturday.
BRONCOS NRL SQUAD
1. Darius Boyd ©
2. Corey Oates
3. James Roberts
4. Jack Bird
5. Jamayne Isaako
6. Anthony Milford
7. Kodi Nikorima
8. Matt Lodge
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Sam Thaiday
11. Alex Glenn
12. Jaydn Su’A
13. Tevita Pangai
14. Payne Haas
15. Joe Ofahengaue
16. Korbin Sims
17. Tom Opacic
Reserve 18. Sam Tagataese
Reserve 19. Todd Murphy
Reserve 20. Jonus Pearson
Reserve 21. Patrick Mago
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Article originally published at: https://www.broncos.com.au/news/2018/05/082/payne-in-frame-for-surprise-return/