Walsh gives Broncos a boost, but training scare for Mam

Joel Gould |

Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh is on track to return from a facial fracture against the Dolphins.
Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh is on track to return from a facial fracture against the Dolphins.

Reece Walsh has completed a full contact session at Brisbane training in a sign he is on track to return early from his facial fracture.

The Broncos No.1 was expected to miss four to six weeks when he sustained the injury against Penrith in round three.

Donning pink headgear, Walsh did everything with the team at Monday’s training to put himself in contention to play at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night against the Dolphins.

Reece Walsh with blood on hsi face against Penrith.
Walsh was expected to miss four to six weeks when he sustained his facial injury in round three. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

The Broncos held their breath when five-eighth Ezra Mam hobbled off midway through the session. He later told staff it was a cork.

“Ezra will be right. He will get himself ready to go,” Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs said.

Staggs said the return of Queensland fullback Walsh was “a big boost” for the side.

“Reece has done everything right to be back in the team,” Staggs said. 

“All of his rehab went well and it is good to have him back out on the park doing what he does best.

“One thing he has picked up is how he goes about (rehabbing) his injuries. 

“He got on top of everything and has got back earlier than expected – that is him doing all the hard yards people don’t really see.”

Jock Madden and Tristan Sailor alternated in the halves at training, with Sailor moving to No.6 when Mam left the field.

Ezra Mam at training.
Ezra Mam is expected to be fit to face the Dolphins, despite limping out of training on Monday. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Madden is expected to play No.7 against the Dolphins after captain Adam Reynolds suffered a hamstring strain in the 34-32 loss to Melbourne on Thursday.

“Jock has done the job for us before. He knows all the plays, the same as Reyno,” Staggs said.

“There is not going to be a difference there. We will help him out the best way we can.”

Sailor, who played No.1 in Walsh’s absence, remains an option for coach Kevin Walters as a playmaker but is more likely to play as a bench utility against the Dolphins where he can cover multiple positions. 

Corey Oates, who played as a utility off the bench the past two games, trained on the wing and is set to replace Deine Mariner in the starting side.

Mariner suffered a small fracture in his back in the loss to the Storm and is out for three to four weeks.

Oates trained on the left wing and could swap sides with Jesse Arthars who has played on the left this season. 

“Wherever you put Oatesy he will do the job as he has shown the last couple of games, but he prefers it on the wing,” Staggs said.

AAP