New Fifita blow rocks the Broncos
THE Broncos have been dealt a major blow with superstar back-rower David Fifita ruled out for at least another fortnight as an injury crisis threatens to derail Brisbane's season.
The Fifita development comes as Broncos prop and former Titans rookie Payne Haas revealed he had got in the ear of his best mate urging him to reject a massive $1.25 million payday from the Gold Coast.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold told The Courier-Mail Brisbane's medical team cannot set a date on Fifita's return from a knee injury after the Queensland Origin ace was ruled out of this Friday night's clash against the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
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The Broncos were initially hoping Fifita would be cleared for the Tigers showdown, but he is out of action and it is understood the matchwinning forward will also be sidelined for Brisbane's blockbuster against the Storm on Friday week.
Fifita's delayed comeback comes at a time when the Broncos have been decimated by injuries with star quartet Alex Glenn, Kotoni Staggs, Matt Lodge and Jake Turpin to also miss this week's Tigers tussle.
The 107kg back-rower may not return until August, by which time the 14th-placed Broncos will be walking a top-eight tightrope or could be out of finals contention altogether.
A specialist has cleared Fifita to resume running but Seibold admits he has no idea when his most destructive forward will receive the medical green light to play again.
"We still don't have a set date of when he will be back," Seibold said.
"I'd say Dave is still a few weeks away.
"The medical staff want Dave to jump through a few hoops before he is cleared.
"He is still doing his rehab, but he isn't doing his skills, so he won't play this week and by the looks of it, he won't play next week either against the Storm."
The off-contract Fifita was privately hoping to make a decision before the Tigers clash, but with his planned return put on ice, it could buy the 20-year-old more time to mull over his future at the Broncos.
The Broncos haven't heard from Fifita since last Thursday, triggering some concern he is seriously weighing up changing his mind again and quitting Brisbane to accept a club record offer from the Titans.
Haas shapes as a trump card for the Broncos. Haas, who quit the Titans at 16, is Fifita's closest confidant at the Broncos and has implored his fellow Keebra Park product to stay loyal.
"I have told him that I want him to stay here," Haas said.
"I have told him that plenty of times but at the end of the day he is a man.
"I was there (Titans) when I was a bit younger so the club has probably changed a bit now. I just reckon the Broncos are such a power club with the history and the people around here from top to bottom. It is a special club. That is one thing I can say.
"I think we all know how special he is and obviously we want him at the club. He is a once-in-a-generation type of player.
"It is tough with his decision. It is pretty big money to be offered but whatever he chooses for him and his family, I am happy either way."
Originally published as New Fifita blow rocks the Broncos