Horror news for Macca’s Origin hopes
ANDREW McCullough's entire Origin series hangs in the balance with the Broncos and Queensland hooker facing up to two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Scans on Tuesday confirmed McCullough has sustained a "fairly decent" injury to his medial collateral ligament in a freak training mishap ahead of Friday night's clash against Manly in the Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
While there is some relief that McCullough has not suffered a repeat of the season-ending ruptured ACL injury in 2017, the Broncos rake will still miss an extended period of football.
McCullough started all three games at hooker for Queensland last season but is now no hope of being available for the Origin series opener against NSW at Suncorp Stadium on June 5.
Depending on the length of McCullough's recovery, he could also miss Game Two on June 23 and Origin III on July 10 in what would represent a crushing blow for the Broncos ironman.
McCullough will visit a surgeon later this week to determine whether he requires any clean-up surgery.
Broncos high-performance chief Paul Devlin said McCullough could make a speedy return depending on his rehabilitation in the coming weeks, giving him a glimmer of hope of reclaiming his Queensland jumper.
"He has had a scan today and he has got a fairly decent MCL injury so we will send him for a surgical opinion on that and go from there," said Devlin.
"We have seen some guys come back from MCLs in accelerated time now so we will hold some hope for that.
"They tend to heal pretty well, he will go into as brace and we will progress his rehab journey straight away.
"There is no more professional player especially with injuries than Andrew, so if anyone is going to get back really quickly, he will certainly be a candidate for that."
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd backed McCullough's replacement Jake Turpin, who made his Brisbane debut last year, to succeed in the No.9 jumper.
"Jake has been a great player in a few games he played for us last year," Boyd said.
"He has been doing some good things in the Queensland Cup, he works hard and has a good motor.
"He's a good defenders as well which is what we need. 'Macca' is our best defender so we will miss his experience, but if we hold the ball, it will make Jake's job easier."