Season over for star prop as Broncos’ crisis worsens
Brisbane's year from hell has continued with chief enforcer Matt Lodge ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured leg.
In another crushing injury blow for the Broncos, Lodge has been ruled out of Saturday night's clash against Canberra after scans showed a hairline fracture of his tibia.
Lodge was named on the bench for the Raiders clash at GIO Stadium, but he will not be seen again this season in what has proved a horror campaign for Brisbane's most senior front-rower.
The 25-year-old has suffered three separate injuries this season, beginning in the lead-up to round one when he suffered a partial ACL tear just three weeks before the season opener against the Cowboys.
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The COVID-enforced two-month suspension of the season allowed Lodge to return in time for round three, only for him to suffer a fresh knee injury a month later in Brisbane's 30-12 loss to the Titans.
Desperate to help the Broncos out of their form crisis, Lodge returned after a six-week lay-off last week, but his night ended in misery when he injured his leg in the Broncos' 28-10 loss to South Sydney.
After pulling up sore following Broncos training on Monday, Lodge had another scan on Tuesday night and the MRI confirmed a fracture that has restricted his injury-ravaged campaign to just six games.
Lodge was touted as a NSW Origin hopeful in pre-season but he has struggled to find fitness and continuity from the opening months in one of the most frustrating seasons of his career.
Without Lodge for the rest of the season, the Broncos must rely on Tom Flegler, Payne Haas and Joe Ofahengaue to do the hard yards in midfield.
In the wake of the Rabbitohs' loss, Lodge hinted at a serious problem at the post-match press conference, saying: "It's been a pretty shit year, I've had a couple of injuries.
"I'm probably not playing next week but I just wanted to be out there with the boys."
A Broncos spokesman has confirmed Lodge's season-ending injury.
"He originally injured his knee during the round seven match against the Titans, with the initial prognosis not expected to be serious," he said.
"Since that injury, Matt has had multiple scans and a specialist appointment to try to find the cause of continued knee pain, with no definite result.
"Matt was determined to get back on the field and played last weekend against the Rabbitohs but following that game the pain in his knee had not subsided.
"Matt could not complete Tuesday's training session due to the increasing knee pain and he was referred again for further scans and an appointment with the club's specialist.
"Subsequently a hairline fracture was discovered in his tibia and this will unfortunately require the rest of the season to heal properly."
Originally published as Season over for star prop as Broncos' crisis worsens