Brisbane veteran Sam Thaiday has revealed strike centre James Roberts will need to be nursed through the NRL season due to a niggling calf complaint.
Cancer survivor Marion Seve was placed on standby ahead of Friday night’s Suncorp Stadium clash with the Warriors after Roberts was limited to light duties at training on Tuesday.
Thaiday said Roberts had arrived from the Gold Coast Titans in the off-season with the ongoing calf problem.
The Broncos forward said the club was still trying to find the right training load for their prized recruit.
“There are old injuries that he is carrying so we are figuring out how to manage him,” he said of Roberts who left the Titans after a contract forgery bungle.
“We just have to figure out a plan for The Jet.”
Roberts raised eyebrows when he was limited to light runs and drills with injured centre Jordan Kahu.
Thaiday tried to laugh off concern for Roberts, saying he was just picking up where notoriously training shy retired great Justin Hodges had left off.
“He took his contract, he took his jersey and now he’s taken his training program,” he said of Roberts.
Former Wests Tigers flyer Seve – who beat testicular cancer in 2013 – trained in Roberts’ place at right centre.
The 20-year-old was diagnosed in 2012 with stage-three cancer that had spread to his liver after being told to see a doctor by his footy trainer while at a representative carnival.
After immediate surgery and an intense course of chemotherapy, Seve emerged 12 months later with the 2013 Peter Sterling Medal as the nation’s best schoolboys player.
The Queensland under 20s player left the Wests Tigers in the off-season.
He is close to an NRL debut after impressing with a try-scoring double last week for Ipswich in the Queensland Cup.
“He showed some good signs at training,” Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough said of Seve.
“Wayne (Bennett) sees a bit of potential in him.
“We will keep it nice and simple for him if he does play.
“We are lucky to have a bit of speed there – hopefully he gets a bit of open space if he does play.”
England international Jack Reed trained strongly in the centres and looked set to return from a shoulder injury.
He would replace Kahu (quad) who has been ruled out for two to four weeks after breaking down against Parramatta last week.
“We have some great depth at the moment – that’s the luxury we have,” McCullough said of Reed stepping in for Kahu.