Payne Haas in shock surgery development as Broncos rocked by massive new NRL blow

The news has gone from bad to worse for Brisbane.

Payne Haas is set to miss the next 4-6 weeks in a massive new blow for the Brisbane Broncos. Coach Kevin Walters revealed on Wednesday that Haas wouldn't play against the Panthers on Thursday night, and the Broncos announcement later that the prop is booked in for surgery on his right knee.

"Payne met with a specialist today and it was decided the best course of action was for him to have an arthroscopy next week," Broncos performance chief Dave Ballard said on Wednesday night. "We always put the long-term health of the player first and even though Payne will miss some games now, we will get a much better result once he returns with the bulk of the season still to play. This kind of surgery has a recovery of up to six weeks, but we know that Payne is always very dedicated to his rehab and we expect no different this time around."

Adam Reynolds and Payne Haas.
Adam Reynolds and Payne Haas are both out injured. Image: Getty

The Broncos will also be without captain Adam Reynolds for the NRL grand final rematch, after the halfback aggravated a knee injury of his own. The Broncos revealed on Saturday that Reynolds had escaped serious injury after leaving the field with 10 minutes remaining in Brisbane's win over Souths last Thursday night.

But scans revealed a medial collateral ligament (MCL) strain - a recurrence of an injury Reynolds sustained in the pre-season. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Broncos coach Walters said his veteran halfback won't play against the Panthers in round three. "Reyno won't be playing and won't be named. He is out," Walters said, revealing Jock Madden would take over the No.7 jersey.

Payne Haas to miss at least four weeks after surgery

And the news got get even worse for the Broncos on Wednesday, with star forward Haas also ruled out. Reynolds and Haas were in rehab on Sunday, and neither took part in a team session training session.

Walters had named Haas in his team list on Tuesday, but revealed on Wednesday that he won't be able to play. Roosters recruit Fletcher Baker will make his starting debut, and rookie prop Xavier Willison will come into the 17 on the bench.

"Payne won't be playing," Walters said. "He still has some problems with his knee so we will get the doctor to look at it and see how we go. We always have our players' welfare first and foremost.

"We will start Fletcher Baker. Xavier Willison comes into the 17 and he is a terrific prospect. No one likes missing games and Payne is very competitive. He feels he is letting the team down but he's not. We will get his knee looked at properly and see what the issue is. He didn't feel 100 per cent today. He is a key player for us so we will play him when he is fit."

Adam Reynolds, pictured here after aggravating a knee injury in the Broncos' win over Souths.
Adam Reynolds aggravated a knee injury in the Broncos' win over Souths. (Getty Images)

Haas went up the tunnel during the Rabbitohs game, but returned in the second half and finished the game. His absence is a huge blow as the Broncos look to get revenge over the Panthers after their 26-24 loss in last year's grand final.

Walters also revealed that Reece Walsh sustained a minor injury against the Rabbitohs after the star fullback was seen in a no-contact red training bib on Sunday. After doing his own warm-up, Walsh took part in an opposed session against Broncos affiliate club Wynnum-Manly. "Reece is fine," Walters said on Sunday. "He just has a bit of a cork. He will be right."

Jock Madden to partner Ezra Mam in Broncos halves

In better news for the Broncos, Ezra Mam has escaped injury after he was seen clutching his shoulder late in the Rabbitohs game. With Reynolds out, the five-eighth will be pivotal in the Broncos' hopes of upsetting the Panthers.

Walters also backed Madden to step up after the former Wests Tigers playmaker featured in five NRL games last year when either Reynolds or Mam were out injured. "Every time Jock has had an opportunity he has played really well for us, so we expect no different on Thursday night in Penrith," Walters said.

"It is a great opportunity for Jock to showcase his skills. He is a different player to Reyno but an equally important member of the team. He is still maturing and we have a lot of confidence in him and the skillset he brings to the club."


A timeframe for Reynolds' return hasn't been provided by the Broncos, but the club indicated they would play if safe with the 33-year-old veteran. "We are two rounds in and we are keeping in mind the health and welfare of our players," Walters said.

"We are making sure if they do take the field they are in a position where they can do their roles capably. Each injury is different and each player is different. It is player welfare more than anything."

with AAP