Eels hooker back from surgery to face Broncos

Parramatta hooker Reed Mahoney is one player thankful for the disruption caused to the 2020 NRL season by the COVID-19 crisis.

The 22-year-old underwent surgery after breaking a bone in his foot in the Eels' big round-two victory over Gold Coast in March.

Mahoney will not miss a match due to the injury however, making the best of the coronavirus pandemic-enforced suspension of the season to recover and regain his fitness.

It means Mahoney is set to take to the field on Thursday when the NRL campaign resumes with the Eels facing Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

Reed Mahoney

"I'm very lucky that when I did it the season got called off and the last few weeks I've been in and around the boys," Mahoney told the Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show.

"I'm pretty excited to be out there on Thursday."

Understudy Ray Stone was expected to replace Mahoney and despite his return to fitness Mahoney said he expects his fellow youngster to feature in some capacity against the Broncos.

"We'll carry him on the bench maybe, because I probably won't be able to get through a full game. I haven't done as much fitness as everyone else," Mahoney said.

The Eels' strong start to the season, which included an 8-2 win over Canterbury as well as the 46-6 Titans' thrashing, has catapulted them into premiership discussions.

A kind rescheduled draw, which includes several games at Bankwest Stadium, is also in the Eels favour.

Mahoney says the team has not been looking that far ahead and he is wary of a Broncos side which the Eels embarrassed 58-0 in last year's finals series.

"We did a little bit of review on it but that's obviously last year and they're a much better football team now," he said.

"They've got a huge forward pack and they've obviously got (Brodie) Croft there.

"They've won two games in a row, the first two games, so we've got to be at our best to compete with them."

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