Hodges on the brink of NRL return
MUCH as he’d love him back, Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin will reject any late plea from Justin Hodges to make his NRL return against Canberra on Friday night.
Hodges and fellow Queensland Origin star Ben Hannant were again left off the Broncos’ team sheet yesterday, but there was a feeling the door was not completely closed on Hodges making a late bid. He looked sharp in some individual drills before joining team training late in the session, triggering speculation he may be a late addition if he pulls up well this morning.
Hodges has a history of coming back early from injuries but Griffin said the decision had already been made.
‘‘ Hodgo won’t play, but he is very close,’’ Griffin said.
‘‘ This is his first week of doing everything, full-on running, and he needs this week off to play next week.’’
Griffin said Hodges’ assertiveness at training indicated he was about ready and raring to play after missing the 2010 season with an Achilles injury and then the first 2011 game with a hamstring tear.
‘‘ You see him this morning, he’s loud, he’s got his spring back and that’s because he’s feeling good,’’ said Griffin.