Melbourne Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen is suffering an “absolutely heartbreaking” ankle injury that casts doubt on his playing future, just a year after shattering his kneecap in 10 places.
- Melbourne lost their qualifying final to Brisbane 26-0
- Papenhuyzen’s horror injury made the night much worse
- Comes after courageous comeback from serious knee injury
Melbourne Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen’s immediate future is in doubt after he suffered a suspected broken leg in the club’s 26-0 NRL final loss to the Brisbane Broncos.
Papenhuyzen was injured last year when he broke his kneecap during a match against Canberra in July, with the bone breaking into 10 different pieces.
He was just three games into his return when the shattering injury occurred late in the finals match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The 25-year-old was visibly upset as players created a shield around him so medics could treat the injury, before being laid out on a stretcher to respectful applause from Brisbane fans.
The incident is reminiscent of a horror night in 2012, when former Bronco Jharal Yow Yeh suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle during a match in Perth.
The former Broncos, Maroons and Australia representative fought hard to return to rugby league but retired after being unable to complete a trial match.
Papenhuyzen knew right away he was in trouble and was upset as doctors tended to him on the field.
The Storm fullback was three games removed from his shocking knee injury from last season where he shattered his kneecap in 10 places.
Papenhuyzen made a strong return to the NRL in August, playing 19 minutes in a match against the Gold Coast Titans at AAMI Park in a 37-16 Storm victory.
Previously, he made tentative steps on his return to the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup.
Fans have been shocked by the latest injury setback which could end the talented fullback’s career prematurely.
“I’m not a Storm fan at all, but seeing the Papenhuyzen policeman get injured again after barely coming back was deeply upsetting,” said one Brisbane supporter,
“Gotta feel Papenhuyzen mate, that guy looked distraught especially after recovering from that terrible injury,” replied another.
‘Devastating. No matter who you’re rooting for, I can’t imagine there’s anyone watching whose heart hasn’t sunk in that moment. My heart goes out to Papenhuyzen, I hope it’s not as bad as it seems,” another fan posted.
The Storm’s Ryan Papenhuyzen is taken off the field by a stretcher after injuring his ankle during the NRL qualifying final match between the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm
Winger Xavier Coates also limped off in the 70th minute as the Broncos ended a 5,285-day drought against their arch foes at Suncorp Stadium and advanced to a home NRL preliminary final in a fortnight’s time.
Melbourne will face the winner of the Cronulla-Sydney Roosters playoff final in Melbourne next week.