State of Origin 2022: NSW Blues prop Payne Haas to receive painkilling injection before game two Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content

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By Christian Nicolussi

Payne Haas will require pain-killing injections in his right shoulder on Sunday night as he comes to terms with having to receive jabs for the rest of the year just to remain on the park.

The NSW prop suffered repeated “stingers” in his left AC joint at the start of the season before he suffered the same injury in his right shoulder against Canberra in round 14.

NSW medico Nathan Gibbs said surgery would not fix the injury but that Haas would not do further damage to the an AC joint by playing with the aid of painkillers.

The Broncos and Blues behemoth has been restricted to light duties at training in Perth this week, and was one of the few players spared from taking part in a boxing session at the start of the work in beachside Scarborough.

It is now a simple case, Gibbs says, of how much pain Haas can tolerate.

“There is no surgery required for AC joints,” Gibbs said. “Time is a good thing, and not playing footy every week will help. But it’s not a dangerous thing to play with because there are no long-term consequences.

Playing in Payne: Blues prop Payne Haas will require painkillers all year.

Playing in Payne: Blues prop Payne Haas will require painkillers all year.Credit:Jessica Hromas

“He had a needle in game one, he’s been having needles with the Broncos, and he’ll have another needle on Sunday night. It’s safe to repeatedly needle him because of the minimal risk of long-term damage.”

Gibbs said some people were unable to swing their arm with a bad AC joint because of the pain, but Haas was not at that stage.

“He can train unencumbered, the painkillers just top him up,” Gibbs said. “I only see him at Origin level, but he’s blasé about the pain, and it’s not stressing him out - the pain isn’t an issue for Payne.”

Haas told the Herald he would wear protective pads on both shoulders, but the right AC joint was the only one that required extra treatment come game day. He missed a game against South Sydney in round nine because of his left AC joint.

The front-rower has been restricted to light duties this week in Perth.

The front-rower has been restricted to light duties this week in Perth.Credit:Getty Images

“I get my needles [on] game day and it feels 100 per cent,” Haas said. “I have had good staff at the Broncos and here at the Blues when I’ve come in. I can’t do much on the field at the moment or any heavy contact where I can aggravate it.

“It hurts when I don’t have the needle. I want to play footy and I hate sitting out games. As long as the physios keep clearing me I’m good to go.”

Haas was the only NSW forward to run for more than 100m during the 16-10 loss at Accor Stadium, and said it was the injection of his Broncos teammate - and Queensland debutant - Pat Carrigan that had a huge impact on the game.

NSW coach Brad Fittler said of Haas’ Origin I effort: “When we looked at our game, there were ways we could have helped Payne, but Payne could have also been better - we all could have been better.

“He’s our No. 8 and we just need him to be dominant through the middle.”

Haas underwent surgery on his left shoulder in 2018 with a scar still clearly visible. He will get through Sunday and then back up next Saturday night against North Queensland’s powerhouse pack.

The Blues have no injury concerns heading into the must-win clash against the Maroons.

Watch the State of Origin exclusively live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now.

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