David Fifita is set to return from injury earlier than expected and could miss just two to three rounds of the NRL season. Picture: AAP.
David Fifita is set to return from injury earlier than expected and could miss just two to three rounds of the NRL season. Picture: AAP.

Broncos boost with Fifita set for early return

THE Broncos' premiership campaign has received a major boost with Queensland Origin star David Fifita set to be cleared of an extended period on the sidelines.

Fifita underwent surgery four weeks ago for a lateral meniscus tear and faced three to four months in recovery after injuring his knee in Brisbane's season-opening defeat of North Queensland in Townsville.

But Fifita is healing well, with Broncos medicos hoping the back-row sensation can discard his crutches next week and begin ramping-up his rehabilitation for a return in early June.

The cavalry is returning for the Broncos, with senior prop Matt Lodge (partial ACL tear), skipper Alex Glenn (hamstring) and halfback Brodie Croft (shoulder) eyeing comebacks for the NRL's planned relaunch on May 28.

The Broncos initially ruled out Fifita for an indefinite period, but his smooth rehabilitation could see the matchwinning strike forward miss just two or three premiership games.

Fifita could have returned earlier if he opted to remove the damaged portion of his meniscus, but due to the 20-year-old's tender years, doctors opted to repair the ligament, which meant more healing time on the sidelines.

David Fifita was on crutches with a knee brace less than two weeks ago. Picture: Getty Images.
David Fifita was on crutches with a knee brace less than two weeks ago. Picture: Getty Images.

Former Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer underwent the same operation as Fifita during his playing days and said the patient approach was the right move.

"I've had a similar operation to Dave where they stitch the cartilage back up rather than shave it away," Lockyer said.

"Because of that, you have to be off your feet longer in the early part of recovery.

"Being so young, instead of removing Dave's cartilage, they can preserve it by repairing it.

"If the damaged part was cut away, Dave would be back quicker, but this will be better for him in the long term."

David Fifita opted to have the surgery to prolong his career. Picture: Annette Dew.
David Fifita opted to have the surgery to prolong his career. Picture: Annette Dew.

Broncos teammate Jesse Arthars said Fifita's mood at training suggested he was confident of an early comeback.

"Davey is going really good," he said.

"I talk to him every day and he is getting through his rehab.

"He is doing everything the physios are putting forward to him and he is smashing it out.

"Hopefully he comes back soon. It will be good to have him out there with the boys."

The injury saga will ensure there is no rush on Fifita's future.

The 107kg hulk remains off-contract at season's end but the Broncos are so confident of retaining Fifita, they are prepared to wait until the latter stages of the year to complete a deal.



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