Broncos declare Pangai will be R1 ready
BRISBANE have breathed a sigh of relief over the fitness of Tevita Pangai Junior, with the star NRL forward cleared of any serious injury.
Pangai Junior left the field after just 18 minutes in the Broncos' trial victory over Wynnum Manly on Saturday night, claiming he had heard a pop in his hamstring.
It sparked fears he would miss the club's opening-round clash with Melbourne, while fellow young prop Payne Haas has been sidelined through suspension.
But scans have shown no serious damage, with the 23-year-old seemingly even a possibility of playing in next weekend's trial against Gold Coast.
"Tevita had a bit of a scare in the game but, at present, it looks like it is something only mild in nature," Broncos performance chief Paul Devlin said.
"We expect him to be back running as early as tomorrow and we will assess it from there."
Pangai Jnr was less confident about his chances the day after the match.
"I felt it pop," he said.
"I'm pretty disappointed. I worked hard on my hamstrings all pre-season.
"I don't know what to say. I'll be all right, it's early days and we've got a long season ahead.
"Hopefully I'm good for round one. Hopefully I can get back on the horse, get my preparation right and be right for round one against the Storm.
"We've got a lot of depth and the young boys played well. If I'm out for round one I'm pretty sure we can cover it."
The Tongan star has the potential to be the Broncos' chief middle man this year, after a breakout 2018 season.
Brisbane lost Josh McGuire to North Queensland over the summer, likely leaving Matt Lodge and Joe Ofahengaue to start in the front row with Pangai at lock.
Young forwards David Fifita and Thomas Flegler also pushed their first-round causes in Saturday's 26-12 win over the Queensland Cup side.