Broncos winger Jordan Kahu shares mate's injury pain
BRONCOS winger Jordan Kahu, 22, knows all about coming back from long-term injuries.
He endured two knee reconstructions before making his NRL debut against the Storm in round four this season.
It has been a painful and uncertain journey on the way to playing just his third senior game, against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.
That journey was why Kahu threw his support behind teammate Jharal Yow Yeh after he suffered a horrific leg injury against South Sydney last year.
Yow Yeh was hopeful of coming back this season, but his first hit-up in 13 months - in his return for the Norths Devils in the FOGS Cup two weeks ago - took such a big toll he could be sidelined until late this month.
The 23-year-old is expected to play more matches in the FOGS Cup this season and a return to the NRL is unlikely until at least next year.
Kahu said of Yow Yeh: "We've spent a lot of time together over the last year. We've become real close.
"I like to think about him before every game, and also (former Bronco) Gerard Beale - he's a good mate of mine."
Beale is also out for the season after rupturing his ACL while playing for the Dragons against Newcastle in round five.
Ironically, it has been injuries to teammates that have opened the way for Kahu in 2013.
He made his debut with Justin Hodges sidelined, and long-term injuries to Yow Yeh and fellow winger Dale Copley gave the flier his chance this season.
"It was pretty tough. There's nothing you can do with an ACL reconstruction," Kahu said.
"You can't really hurry it up. I just had to wait my time."
After his second knee reconstruction in two seasons destroyed Kahu's NRL aspirations last year, he at least learnt some valuable lessons while awaiting his turn.
"A lot of the little things I used to worry about, I don't worry about so much anymore," he said.
"I did a lot of community work while I was injured. I got to see a lot of sick kids and it made my situation seem not as bad."