Broncos boost as Gillett escapes injury hell
THE Broncos have received a huge boost with star back-rower Matt Gillett cleared to return to rugby league after his injury hell.
Gillett's career was at the crossroads last April when he sustained a fractured neck which prematurely ended his 2018 season and raised doubts as to whether the Maroons ace would ever play again.
To compound his plight, Gillett then required reconstructive surgery on a shoulder injury which had forced the former Test back-rower to play through the pain barrier.
Gillett recently admitted he feels lucky just to be walking again.
Now he has received the news he has waited 10 months to hear - at age 30, he will don his beloved Broncos jumper once again as he looks to help Brisbane break a 13-year premiership drought.
"I've been cleared to play again," Gillett said.
"Once the results came through and I got the thumbs up, it was awesome.
"Two or three weeks ago, I got the all clear for my neck so it's all healed up.
"And just yesterday, I saw the surgeon about the shoulder and he is very happy with that, he has given me the all-clear to go ahead.
"Everyone is pretty happy with where I am at …it's just building on what I've missed out on last year."
The development is a major fillip for a Broncos side which sorely missed Gillett's class, experience and hitting power on the edges last season.
One of the code's most accomplished back-rowers, Gillett signed a four-year extension while on the sidelines last season and is confident he can recapture the form that made him a representative force.
Broncos legend Gorden Tallis never completely recaptured his aggression following neck-fusion surgery during his career, but Gillett is confident he can overcome any mental demons.
"It's a confidence thing," he said.
"Within myself, I am confident in the contact side of things, but I have to work on getting caught in the wrestle.
"It (his neck) plays on my mind when I think about doing extra stuff after training, but in game situations it should be fine.
"I'm not thinking about it at all and the more I play, the better it will be hopefully.
"It's a big relief (to be cleared to play again).
"I had to wait a while for those results to come through. To get that final scan to get the OK, it was playing on my mind, but I always prepared as though my neck was going to be all right."
Gillett lost 10kg during his ordeal but is now back at his playing weight of 101kg and eyeing a comeback before the premiership opener against Melbourne.
"I'm aiming to get that last trial in (against the Titans on March 2)," he said.
"If I'm going very well I will try and get 20 minutes in a trial against Wynnum the week before.
"I have just tried to focus on doing my rehab, so to get the green light, it's been a good result."