It’s been a long stint on the sidelines for Matt Gillett. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
It’s been a long stint on the sidelines for Matt Gillett. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Gillett awaits neck fracture clearance

MATT Gillett says he needs a final clearance from his specialist for his neck fracture before he can set his sights on a comeback next year.

The Broncos and Queensland second-rower will have a final scan in late November and hopes it will led to the green light medically for him to undertake contact training.

Gillett also had a shoulder reconstruction while out of action with his neck injury, but will resume fitness training from November 6 with the Broncos.

 

After being restricted to five matches only this year, the return of Gillett's defence would especially help Brisbane address a tendency in 2018 to throw in woeful defensive games, such as the season-ending loss to the Dragons.

"I still have to get another scan. The last time I saw him (specialist) he said to come back in three months to get a scan, so that's the end of the November,'' Gillett said.

"I hope to get the all clear. He was happy when I got the (most recent) scan. But it was not good enough to risk it (in 2018), doing what we do on the field.''

Fitness training is the next step. (Peter Wallis)
Fitness training is the next step. (Peter Wallis)

Any medical advice to further delay contact at training because of concerns about how his neck has healed would set back Gillett's schedule to make a match comeback late in the pre-season.

"It was the best option to sit it (the 2018 season) out and come back fresh next year,'' he said.

"I got my right shoulder done as well because I had labrum tears.

"That shoulder operation is usually a six-month period and it's been almost two months now. It's going OK so far and with everything going to plan, I'll be right to play round 1 and hopefully play the last trial to build on my game fitness.''

Gillett, Jaydn Su'A and Payne Haas form a significant trio of Broncos forwards to return from injuries which ended their season.

But Gillett's renowned defence and the clever lines he runs makes him an especially valuable inclusion for the 2019 Broncos.

"We have a lot of good young forwards and the more they play together as a forward pack the better,'' he said.

"Joe Ofahengaue had his best year, probably he was our best player consistently. Hopefully they are able to stay together.''

Brisbane start the premiership away against Melbourne in the season's first game, on March 14.



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