Brisbane Broncos wing-turned-forward Corey Oates has been cleared of a suspected compound fracture of the femur, but will still require surgery on his left leg.
On Friday, Oates was stretchered from the field and taken straight to hospital during the Broncos' 48-0 defeat to the Wests Tigers after he was injured in a tackle by back-rower Luciano Leilua.
Footage showed Oates trying to stand before falling to the ground in agony. Play was stopped for several minutes before he was taken to a Sydney hospital in an ambulance.
Medical staff at the Broncos thought Oates has compound fracture of the femur, but doctors in Sydney have diagnosed the Queensland Origin representative with a large haematoma and deep gash in his leg.
He is set to have surgery on Saturday and faces just three weeks on the sideline as opposed to the season-ending injury first suspected. After having surgery, he will be driven home instead of flying back to Brisbane.
Fox Sports reporter Hannah Hollis said members of the Broncos staff said "it's the worst thing they've seen".
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold expressed grave concerns after his side's seventh loss in their last eight games.
"Corey's about to go into the ambulance," he said. "I just spoke to him then briefly as he was getting into the ambulance.
"He is in a fair bit of pain. He'll need to stay in Sydney, and we'll get some support around him by leaving a staff member with him down here."
The femur, in the leg, is the strongest bone in the human body. The NRL Physio Twitter account said it's a "rare injury in sport as it requires such a high force, more commonly seen in motor vehicle accidents".
On the field, Kiwis captain Benji Marshall played an influential role in the win, earning praise from Tigers coach Michael Maguire.
In Marshall's first start since round four, Marshall scored a try and kicked 546 metres in a dominant display.
Marshall came into the starting side for Luke Brooks - who made a brief cameo off the bench. Maguire felt Brooks could learn a thing or two from Marshall in what to do when you get dropped from the starting side.
"It's the same as what Benji went through. Benji showed exactly what you should do when you face a bit of adversity," Maguire said.
"I thought Benji was fantastic. It was the Benji Marshall that I know... It's a message for all the young kids and for every senior player in the game - put your head down and work.
"I'm very proud of the boys - nice to see. The players have really taken account of what we're trying to do at the club.
"It's been known over the last month that we wanted a change, and the boys are doing that."
Earlier, Kiwis prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona scored two tries as the Melbourne Storm claimed a 42-6 win over the Gold Coast Titans. Storm coach Craig Bellamy was full of praise after the match.
"That was his best performance this season. He probably didn't have the best pre-season with a hamstring injury for a lot of it. He probably wasn't as fit as he would have liked to be or usually is early in the season so that was certainly his best performance this year and hopefully he can keep it up for the rest of the year.
"He played similar minutes against the Warriors but in that game it was a similar scoreline so he got a few more breaks.
"The last two games [against the Roosters and Raiders] he didn't have as many breaks but the more he trains and the more he plays he is going to get his minutes up and he will get fritter. We have seen what he is capable of."
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