Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough says he’s never been more frustrated in his NRL career than over the past month.
The Broncos rake has been sidelined with a broken thumb while his club have slipped out of the top four, slumping to five defeats in seven matches.
McCullough is a near-certainty to return for Friday’s home clash with Melbourne after completing training on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old will wear a guard on his injured hand against the Storm but has been given the all-clear if he gets through Thursday’s session without complications.
McCullough’s three-game absence came shortly after he’d returned from a hamstring tear and considering a relative lack of injury in his nine-year first grade career, he has found it tough to be on the sidelines.
“I haven’t had to deal with that before,” McCullough said.
“You want to do your best for the team but you’re also restricted in what you can do. You’re probably a bit more of a hindrance sometimes.
“Without intentionally doing it you do feel a bit out of the group when you’re obviously training on your own and doing your own thing, not travelling away. That’s something I’ve missed and I just want to put a good, consistent back-end of the year together now.”
The Broncos were savaged 40-14 by Canterbury last weekend and face an in-form Storm on Friday.
Despite their struggles McCullough says there’s no panic setting.
“It’s not the Origin period, we went through a great run last year and that never got brought up,” he said.
“We’re not in a hole as such, there’s just a few things in our game we need to pick up. It’s nothing drastic, we’ve still got the same squad pretty much here, same coach – we’re able to do it if our mindset is right.”