Bronco Lodge cleared to play against Eels

Capping a remarkable return from injury, Brisbane prop Matt Lodge has been cleared to play in their NRL return clash with Parramatta on Thursday night.

And Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is hopeful barnstorming forward David Fifita has taken a confident step toward his own recovery from a knee complaint.

There were fears Lodge would miss the 2020 season after he aggravated a partial ACL tear in his knee, which he had been carrying since 2015, at training in February.

But he made tremendous strides in his recovery during the NRL coronavirus shutdown and will feature on the bench for the unbeaten Broncos’ Suncorp Stadium clash.

Lodge was given the green light after emerging from Tuesday’s training session unscathed.

“It (return) shows a lot of determination by Lodgey. He has had to show a fair bit of resilience,” Seibold said.

“We expect him to play, so it’s good for us. He’s a leader in our group and he’ll make a real impact.”

Seibold also looked forward to the return of Fifita, who removed his knee brace on Tuesday.

The Broncos mentor hoped the Queensland bench forward would be back in a month after undergoing knee surgery during the shutdown.

“He’s got the knee brace off today, he looks pretty happy. He can probably see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Seibold said.

“But we will be slowly, slowly (with his rehab).

“We have got a fair bit of footy for David (with his return expected) at four or five weeks away but not much further than that if he gets his rehab right.”

Besides Lodge, Brisbane will welcome back new skipper Alex Glenn after he missed the first two rounds with a hamstring complaint.

Seibold expected Glenn and bench forward Ethan Bullemor to step up if hooker Jake Turpin needed a rest against the Eels after former Queensland No.9 Andrew McCullough’s surprise departure to Newcastle last week.

McCullough – a 260 NRL game Broncos veteran – signed with the Knights for the rest of 2020 after losing his starting rake gig to Turpin and being relegated to a bench utility role.





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