David Fifita has played his last game for Brisbane and his Origin series is now in doubt with confirmation of a syndesmosis injury in Friday’s 26-12 loss to Parramatta.
The Gold Coast-bound forward had an MRI on Saturday which showed a syndesmosis injury, and will meet with a specialist next week to determine if he needs surgery.
The State of Origin series opener is in Adelaide on November 4, meaning any surgery would put him in doubt for the Queensland side.
It comes as a significant blow to the 20-year-old who was set to be farewelled in the last game of the season against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.
Fifita came off just two minutes into the second half of Friday’s loss to the Eels when prop Junior Paulo fell on his lower leg while trying to make a tackle.
The incident was put on report to the confusion of both Eels coach Brad Arthur and Gentle, with referee Henry Perenara calling it a ‘duty of care’ infringement.
Perenara was tipped off by the bunker for the ‘hip drop’ tackle – which is the same charge Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich was suspended for last month.
Once Fifita went off, the Broncos were forced to finish the game with just two players on the interchange after five-eighth Tyson Gamble went off with a head knock in the opening minute.
He is also unlikely to play the Cowboys on Thursday.
The match will be the last for former Australia and Queensland star Darius Boyd, who is retiring at the end of the season.
And aside from the emotional motivation, the Broncos will be desperate to avoid their first wooden spoon in club history if they can get a win.
“There’ll be plenty of media round that all week,” Gentle said.
“The boys have known quite a while when Darius’s finishing point was.
“We have to send Dave off as well and that’s in the balance.
“We’ll be doing everything to send Darbs out a winner but we owe it to everyone to put in a really good performance at home.”