Darren Lockyer has ruled himself out of Brisbane’s preliminary final against Manly on Friday after failing to recover from a fractured cheekbone.
Lockyer went under the knife on Sunday after collecting a knee from team mate Gerard Beale during the Broncos’ 13-12 golden point victory over St George last weekend.
The skipper did not travel with the team and was instead transported to Sydney via helicopter in a bid to a avoid complications to the injury from cabin pressure.
But after weighing up all the risks, Lockyer has decided not to line up against Manly.
“We’re two days away from the game and I’m not quite ready, five days later (after surgery) is just too soon to play,” Lockyer said.
“The fracture still wouldn’t be healed properly and I’d be in a lot better shape physically and mentally for the grand final, hopefully the team can get the job done and I’m still lining up for the Broncos next week.
“I didn’t do any contact work and it’s about feeling confident about being in that collision situation and I didn’t have enough time to find that confidence.”
Lockyer says he bears no malice towards Beale for the incident and has pledged to be fit for the Grand Final if the Broncos can score a win on Friday night.
Broncos utiltity Matt Gillett is expected to take Lockyer’s place at five-eighth and the captain is confident the team can overcome the Sea Eagles.
He added: “They do it for themselves they do it for each other, that’s the way it’s been all year, it’s never been about me.”