Hammer blow: Turpin sidelined with broken leg

The Broncos' injury curse has continued with key hooker Jake Turpin facing an extended period on the sidelines after suffering a suspected fractured tibia.

News Corp can reveal Turpin faces four to six weeks on the sidelines in another crippling blow to Brisbane's playing stocks ahead of tomorrow night's clash against the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos have been tight-lipped about Turpin's availability for the Roosters showdown with coach Anthony Seibold insisting he would give Turpin until game day before deciding whether to blood Cory Paix.

 

Brisbane Broncos player Jake Turpin could be sidelined for up to six weeks. Picture: AAP
Brisbane Broncos player Jake Turpin could be sidelined for up to six weeks. Picture: AAP

The Broncos held a closed session at Suncorp Stadium this morning with co-captain Brodie Croft later claiming Brisbane had not given up hope of Turpin being fit to take on Roosters hooker Jake Friend.

But Brisbane's first-choice hooker is no chance of facing the Roosters. Turpin has told Broncos teammates he has a chipped bone in his leg near his knee, opening the door for the 20-year-old Paix to make his NRL debut against the two-time champions at Suncorp.

The loss of the tough-tackling Turpin is a crushing blow for the Broncos, who have been decimated by injuries to Alex Glenn (calf), Jack Bird (ACL) and David Fifita (knee) and the suspension of Tevita Pangai Jr and Kotoni Staggs.

 

Cory Paix (centre) will get the start in place of Turpin. Picture: AAP
Cory Paix (centre) will get the start in place of Turpin. Picture: AAP

Chief enforcer Matt Lodge also suffered a partial ACL tear in the lead-up to round one but made a swift recovery to be on deck for last week's 34-6 loss to the Eels.

Turpin appeared certain to face the Roosters but he pulled up sore after a training run on Sunday and scans revealed a small crack in his leg.

A severe break would have required surgery and a three-month lay-off but the silver lining for the Broncos is that Turpin's injury is only on the minor scale.

His breakdown would have been eased by the presence of veteran hooker Andrew McCullough, but the 260-game NRL stalwart was released last week to the Knights, who face the Broncos in a fortnight.

Andrew McCullough left the Broncos last week, after a 260-game career, to join the Knights. Picture: AAP
Andrew McCullough left the Broncos last week, after a 260-game career, to join the Knights. Picture: AAP

In the absence of Turpin, Paix faces a huge assignment.The former playmaker-turned-hooker could be required to play the full 80 minutes at dummy half against the Roosters with the Broncos having no back-up rake on the bench.

Paix attended St Mary's Toowoomba - the same school which produced Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston - and Croft backed the debutant to handle a Roosters baptism.

"We have tweaked a few things at training to make sure we are ready," he said.

"...If Paix is to debut, we have every confidence he will do his job for the team."

Originally published as Hammer blow: Turpin sidelined with broken leg



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