Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds has verified that he was at a risk too high to be abruptly inducted into the team for Thursday’s clash against Melbourne, as the notable halfback strategises his ultimate return.
Missing Saturday’s triumph over Canberra due to a minor calf strain, Reynolds was absent from Brisbane’s line-up. With the team clinching a place in the top two, the 33-year-old is set to remain side-lined.
The current contender for Reynolds’ No.7 jumper, Jock Madden, is scheduled to once again step in and solidify his place as the successor in the future years.
“The calf has improved remarkably … While I am fit to play this weekend, the coaching staff is more inclined towards giving me a break to be completely rejuvenated for the semis,” confirmed Reynolds.
Reynolds appreciated Madden’s commendable performance, and believes he is deserving of another chance.
He adds, “After a challenging commencement to the season without a win for numerous weeks, Jock evolved as the ultimate team player. He does not complain or fuss about someone overtaking his role. He is constantly striving for improvement, and is always willing to contribute more and step into responsibility. He is certainly a promising player for the future, with many impressive elements to his game.”
While Reynolds’ return in the first week of finals is almost assured, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the return of player Pat Carrigan.
In the 29-18 victory over the Raiders, the star lock was a late omission as he experienced foot pain on the morning of the match.
Carrigan is expected to be absent from the final round of the 2023 campaign, along with centre Kotoni Staggs, who has been charged with grade two dangerous contact by the NRL match review committee and is likely to be out for a week.
Nevertheless, Reynolds remains positive that State of Origin champion Carrigan will be ready for the finals.
“The Broncos’ season storyline has always been about every player stepping up when required and the upcoming Thursday match will be no exception,” he attested.
“I was in conversation with him during our recent game. While I am unsure of his current state, the plan is to attend rehabilitation sessions together,” Reynolds shared.
“He has expressed confidence about returning for the first semi-final, and we hope he indeed does, as he is a significant part of this team. The current scenario calls for an unpredictable leveraging of players at any moment. We’ve demonstrated our ability to conquer matches without core players in the squad.”