Sia Soliola wasn’t about to let horrible facial fractures get in the way of his love for KFC.
The Canberra Raiders forward hasn’t played since suffering shocking facial fractures in a match in early July.
Soliola had 20 screws surgically implanted into his face to repair seven fractures, meaning he had to eat blended foods for weeks.
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And ahead of his return to the Raiders side this weekend, the New Zealand international has opened up about how desperate he got to get his fast food fix.
“I actually tried to blend KFC,” Soliola said in an interview with NRL.com.
“It was all soft foods so everything had to be blended. I actually had the idea to blend KFC, pizza, a Big Mac or pretty much anything.”
It’s fair to say Soliola has experienced his fair share of pain throughout his NRL career.
“It was quite a horrific thing that I went through but given the fact that I broke my cheekbone in 2015, when I had to do the drive down from Townsville, and I had broken my arm before I had a little bit of experience with fractures,” he said.
“It was my full face but given the experience I had with previous fractures I was quite confident that I could maybe squeeze one or two games in so it is nice when you have a vision and it comes to fruition.”
Soliola set to return against Warriors
Soliola was named in Canberra’s 21-man squad for last Saturday's game against the Dragons at WIN Stadium, and was in line to replace Josh Papalii.
However the Test prop overcame a shoulder injury, meaning Soliola was kept on ice for one more week.
“He would have come in if Josh was injured but Josh will be fine but so I will get Sia some minutes before the end of the season,” coach Ricky Stuart said.
“He was in the change room last week and he didn't handle it real well watching the boys prepare to play.
“It doesn't take Sia much to get motivated to play a game.”
Luckily for Soliola he has been named to come off the bench on Sunday as the Raiders host the Warriors.
Meanwhile, Canberra fear Curtis Scott's season could be over with a metal plate in his leg blocking the Raiders from being able to tell if he has suffered another fracture.
Scott hasn’t played for Canberra since injuring his leg a fortnight ago against Canterbury, where he was initially cleared of any break.
But the centre is still experiencing pain in his right leg, and is yet to return to begin running.
Scott’s injury has so far mystified medics.
The 22-year-old has been unable to get a clear MRI scan, with the point of pain hidden by a plate inserted into his leg when he broke it four year ago at Melbourne.
He will see a specialist next week. If the pain has not subsided he will need to get the plate removed for a scan, with his season then likely to be over.
“We can't get the scan we need because he has a plate in his leg,” Stuart said.
“Because the bone they want to scan is right under the plate, there is every possibility that could be fractured.
“It could be the season for Curtis but I don't want that to be gospel, because ... it might only be one to two weeks.”