21 Sep 2011

Lockyer pulls out of NRL prelimary final

6:43 pm on 21 September 2011

The injured Brisbane captain Darren Lockyer has ruled himself out of Friday night's National Rugby League preliminary final against Manly but is optimistic he'll be playing in the grand final.

The decision follows four days of speculation since Lockyer suffered a fractured cheekbone in the semi-final win over premiers St George Illawarra.

He had three metal plates inserted in his cheek and medical specialists say he risks blindness, if he took another knock to his face by playing so soon after surgery.

His decision means he may have played his last NRL game in a record 355-game career as he is retiring after this year.

But if Brisbane win and advance to next week's final Lockyer says he's hopeful of playing despite medical advice that he shouldn't be playing for at least a month.