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'No risk': Broncos not stressed over rushed Walsh return

Martin Gabor -

Broncos coach Kevin Walters insists “there’s no risk” recalling livewire fullback Reece Walsh just three weeks after he suffered a facial fracture against Penrith,

There were fears Walsh would miss up to six weeks after Taylan May jammed in and clashed heads with Walsh just a couple of minutes into the grand final rematch.

Walsh wasn’t allowed to fly back to Queensland and had to be driven instead, but he’s made a rapid comeback and will face the Dolphins in Friday’s derby after getting through training unscathed in a flashy pink headgear.

He’s a huge inclusion with skipper Adam Reynolds (hamstring) and Payne Haas still out, with Walters not worried about him suffering a similar injury.

Reece Walsh will be back earlier than expected after suffering a facial fracture in the grand final rematch. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Reece Walsh will be back earlier than expected after suffering a facial fracture in the grand final rematch. (Image: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“There’s no risk. We want to keep his Hollywood career intact, so there’s no risk with that,” he said.

“He’s been cleared by all our medical staff to take the field. If he wasn’t cleared then we wouldn’t play him.

“(The headgear) is just precautionary. It’s what he has to wear to play, so he’ll wear that.

“It’s hard for any player to sit out and watch, particularly someone like Reece who lives and breathes rugby league. It has been difficult for him, but he’s back now.

“There was a lot of energy from him at training which is Reece, and we need that energy from him tomorrow night.”

The Broncos are set to receive a double boost with back-rower Jordan Riki expected to play despite limping off training with an ankle injury earlier in the week.

Jordan Riki is expected to face the Dolphins after hurting his ankle earlier in the week. Picture: Liam Kidston
Jordan Riki is expected to face the Dolphins after hurting his ankle earlier in the week. (Image: Liam Kidston)

“We take players’ injuries very seriously, and if they’re not fit to play then they don’t play. He’s obviously fit to play and our medical team are confident that he’ll be able to get through the game,” Walters said.

“To be honest, (on Wednesday) I didn’t think that he’d play, but he’s come up well. He’s a fit, young, healthy guy, and he’s responded nicely to all the treatment that our medical staff have put to him.”

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