Ryan Papenhuyzen has received some good news having delivered his own update after he was taken off the field with an ankle fracture only three games back from a year-long injury layoff. The Broncos were dominant in the first NRL finals game against a struggling Melbourne Storm outfit who gifted the home team penalty after penalty in a stop start game.
Craig Bellamy introduced Papenhuyzen for the second time in the game in an attempt to spark the Storm to life. However, in the 73rd minute disaster struck.
The fullback was attempting a tackle when his leg became stuck under teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona. The 25-year-old went down and was writhing in pain.
Players from both teams rushed to help Papenhuyzen as referee Grant Atkins stopped the game immediately and signalled for help. The broadcast team noticed his ankle was facing the wrong way and were in disbelief.
“Can you imagine what is going through that young man’s head? He went through the wars to get back,” commentator Dan Ginnane said on Fox Sports. “If anyone in our game does not deserve this, it is Ryan Papenhuyzen.... sometimes this game is not fair.
“There’s not single fan in the game that does not feel sorry for this man.” Papenhuyzen had only returned from an injury in round 26 of the NRL season after he shattered his knee-cap in 12 places against the Raiders last year.
Reports at the time claimed Papenhuyzen had suffered a compound fracture. However, the Storm have confirmed reports there was no compound fracture.
On top of this, Papenhuyzen sent a thumbs up to the NRL world and his Storm fans from the hospital on social media. "We go again, lova ya," he wrote.
Craig Bellamy devastated after Papenhuyzen injury
Coach Craig Bellamy was left shattered for his fullback after the incident. "He's in a whole heap of pain and it's a suspected broken ankle," Craig Bellamy said, after images cut to him during the incident and showed him in disbelief at the injury. "I can't imagine how he's feeling at the moment.
"The amount of work he put in to get back to playing again, then get back into the NRL too. It wasn't a great night anyway, and it made it a lot worse."
NRL world rallies around Ryan Papenhuyzen after injury
Teammate Cameron Munster was in shock over the incident and admitted his teammates would rally around him. "I feel sorry for him. I probably saw the ankle out of the socket," Munster told Channel Nine.
"It is sad news for him and the club ... it is a bad injury run for him but hopefully he'll come back and we will see the Pappy that we know.
"We are fully behind him and I will make sure he is right tonight." The NRL community was quick to send Papenhuyzen their best wishes after watching the horrendous scenes. NRL Pyhsio Brien Seeney pointed out that a compound fracture would be several months recovery, at least.
Silver lining confirmed for Ryan Papenhuyzen, with the fracture not open/compound as first reported (bone didn’t break the skin). Positive update for overall prognosis, though he is in for surgery this morning with much to be determined from that (tib/fib/syndesmosis/ankle jt?)
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) September 8, 2023
I’ve never been more flat from a footy injury. Just cannot believe it
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) September 8, 2023
Your heart just absolutely breaks for Ryan Papenhuyzen. After what he has been through to get back to the game. It’s just devastating for him. Wish him a speedy recovery 🙏🏻
— ashleigh. (@_ashwilso) September 8, 2023
Horrendous luck for Ryan Papenhuyzen to cop such a serious/freak injury for the second year straight. I think every rugby league fan feels for him and wishes him a speedy recovery. Just awful luck, and very sad to see after the highs of his return just a few weeks ago now.
— NRL Allstars Podcast (@NRL_SC_Allstars) September 8, 2023
Please don’t circulate footage of the injury or him crying. The broadcasters finally for once at least didn’t replay it so let’s keep it that way. This is an injury that has rattled so many fans of rugby league, not even just Melbourne.
— V (@TicsVitsJacThic) September 8, 2023
This is very tough to watch right now, Papenhuyzen has worked so hard to get back onto a footy field and this might be the last time we ever see him play again #toughwatch
— Chris Camilleri (@ChrisCamiller1) September 8, 2023
Oh no. No. That's heart-breaking for Papenhuyzen. Poor guy, that's just awful.
— Benjamin Angus (@Bangus86) September 8, 2023
Heartbreaking for everyone especially Papenhuyzen. He does not deserve this. Such a great guy and player. Wishing him all the best! #NRLBroncosStorm
— Rugby League News (@RugbyLeagueNews) September 8, 2023
The Broncos were too strong for the Storm on Friday night having won their first match at home to Melbourne since 2009. Reece Walsh was at the centre of the drama having scored a stunning solo try, before earning a pivotal penalty later in the second-half.
Adam Reynolds was also at his best with the Broncos putting down a marker to the rest of the competition. Melbourne will now play the winner of the Sharks and the Roosters who play on Saturday evening.
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