Darren Lockyer says he’s determined to play in Friday’s NRL preliminary final against Manly despite a fractured cheekbone.

But his coach says it’s too early to make a final decision.

Ella Archibald-Binge reports.


Yesterday, Darren Lockyer was undergoing surgery to have three titanium plates inserted into his left cheek.

In less than a week’s time, he hopes to captain his team through to a grand final appearance.

Broncos Head Coach Anthony Griffin says Locky’s on the mend, but a final decision about whether he plays won’t be made until Wednesday.

While some doctors are concerned Lockyer risks his eyesight by playing, Griffin vows his top priority is to take care of his team.

Anthony Griffin, Broncos Head Coach: “We understand the risks, we’ve been advised the risks and in the end, you know, we look after the player as best we can.”

Lockyer fractured his cheekbone when it connected with teammate Gerard Beal’s knee in last week’s semi-final against the Dragons.

If he plays on the weekend, he’ll be a Manly Sea Eagles target.

Manly coach Des Hasler says Locky can expect plently of attention during Friday night’s game, warning that he will have nowhere to hide once he takes the field.

Anthony Griffin, Broncos Head Coach: “If he’s out there, I agree with the coach this morning, with his comments. He’s fair game.”

Lockyer, however, is more concerned about suggestions that he might wear special protective headwear for the game.

Anthony Griffin, Broncos Head Coach: “Oh, I don’t think he wants to wear that gear, he reckons he’ll look too ugly with it on.”

The Brisbane skipper is out of hospital and ready to get back into training this week.

Ella Archibald-Binge, QUT News.