POSSIBLE RETURN: Darius Boyd puts his thumb through its paces during a Broncos training session. The Broncos captain is set for a possible return against the Parramatta Eels this Friday.
POSSIBLE RETURN: Darius Boyd puts his thumb through its paces during a Broncos training session. The Broncos captain is set for a possible return against the Parramatta Eels this Friday. GLENN HUNT

Boyd gives thumbs up for possible return

BRONCOS skipper Darius Boyd says despite suffering a setback at training on Monday, he is on track to make his return from a broken thumb.

The star fullback is expected to play in Friday's showdown with Parramatta, but will first need to get through Thursday's final training run after experiencing some soreness following Monday's session.

While Boyd said he felt good after Tuesday's hit-out at Red Hill, he admitted he was unsure whether he was ready to return as soon as Friday.

"I wasn't very confident yesterday," he said.

"It's just the soreness and getting used to catching passes and bombs in particular. It's about getting that confidence around wrestling and tackling and using it.

"Yesterday I was probably wary of it a little bit. It was probably in my own head a bit more but I felt heaps confident today with it.

"As long as I get through Thursday, then I'll play."

The return of the club captain will mean the Broncos are nearly back at full strength, with towering winger Corey Oates the only NRL regular who is still sidelined.

Oates made a surprise appearance on the Red Hill training paddock on Monday, running for the first time since he was hospitalised with a rare staph infection earlier this month, and he backed up with a gym session on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old winger is hoping he can make his comeback before the NRL finals.

The only other injury concern ahead of Friday is Kodi Nikorima, who trained separately to the main group today with a hip issue.

Benji Marshall trained as the bench utility.

Forward Josh McGuire was also absent for personal reasons, but will be fine to travel to Sydney later this week.

News Corp Australia

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