Origin blow for Blues as Haas in ‘serious doubt’

Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters says Payne Haas is in “serious doubt” for the State of Origin opener with the Brisbane prop expected to miss two to four weeks with a knee injury.

Haas suffered the injury in a disappointing 40-12 loss to Melbourne last night with the star almost certainly unavailable for NSW selection on Sunday with the initial diagnosis finding a medial ligament strain which would keep him off the field for up to a month.

Haas was reportedly assessed by Broncos medical staff at half-time and cleared to return for the second half but he lasted just 11 minutes.

“He is not great. I guess he will have to get his knee looked at properly before we make any decisions around it,” Walters said.

“He would have to be in serious doubt for Origin One I would have thought.”

A four-week absence would see Haas miss the first two games of the State of Origin series leaving a hole in the Blues team taking on the Maroons.

NSW coach Brad Fittler will select his squad for the June 9 series opener on Sunday night.

The Blues are already reeling after Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley was made unavailable for selection until Game 3 after copping a five-week suspension on Tuesday night.

Radley’s Roosters team-mate Angus Crichton will also miss for Origin I after receiving a two-match ban this week.

Haas’ injury could also have ramifications for Broncos prop Matt Lodge, who has been linked with a mid-season move to the Newcastle Knights.

There is speculation Lodge, who missed the Storm clash through suspension, has all-but agreed to join the Knights despite Walters declaring on Wednesday that Lodge has not played his last game for the club

If Haas is ruled out for longer than expected, Walters and the Broncos could deny Lodge’s reported desire to join the Knights mid-season.

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