19 Sep 2011

Lockyer risk too high: expert

12:36 pm on 19 September 2011

Brisbane Broncos captain Darren Lockyer could be risking his eyesight by playing with a fractured cheekbone.

That's the view of former Australian rugby league team doctor Nathan Gibbs, who says Lockyer's orbital bone, which keeps the eye in place, will still be exposed if he takes the field against Manly in Friday's NRL Preliminary Final.

Lockyer had three plates surgically inserted in his left cheek following his matchwinning golden point field goal against reigning premiers St George Illawarra.

Lockyer has indicated he is prepared to play in the grand final qualifier in five days' time.

But Dr Gibbs, who played 86 games in the backrow for South Sydney before taking up the position of team doctor for Manly, NSW and Australia during the 1990s, says the Brisbane captain needs to weigh up the risks.

Dr Gibbs has been a long-time campaigner to eliminate high and dangerous tackles from rugby league and was the national team doctor who sensationally ruled Queensland legend Wally Lewis out of the 1990 Kangaroo Tour of the UK with a broken arm.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin spoke with Lockyer on Sunday afternoon and has left the final decision up to his champion playmaker and match-winner.