Andrew McCullough passes the ball during a Broncos training session on Monday.
 
Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Andrew McCullough passes the ball during a Broncos training session on Monday. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Broncos hooker carrying injury and State of Origin hangover

ANDREW McCullough may yet require finger surgery at the end of the NRL season, but the Queensland hooker is more worried about overcoming a State of Origin hangover.

The Brisbane rake is nursing an injured finger through the rest of the campaign after suffering ligament damage a month ago against Canberra.

McCullough admitted he required pain killing injections just to get on the field and did not rule out a post-season operation.

"It's just a bit of ligament (damage) around the finger," McCullough told Broncos TV in the lead-up to Thursday night's clash with Canterbury.

"Needling it up before games is helping. It's more through the week trying to get through it.

"Overall it is just one of those annoying things... I will have to manage until the end of the year and see if it needs an operation then."

McCullough's major concern was bouncing back to his best, conceding he had battled since Origin.

He ended a decade-long wait when he finally received the Maroons' No.9 jersey this year after Cameron Smith's retirement from representative football.

McCullough impressed in all three games but Queensland lost his debut series 2-1.

The 28-year-old said he suffered post-Origin blues, reaching his low point in Brisbane's 26-6 home loss to the Warriors in round 18.

McCullough's frustration was evident, defying his finger injury to throw punches at the Warriors' Chris Satae and being marched to the sin bin for the first time in his 11-season career.

"Mentally was probably the hardest thing for me (post-Origin) after being up for so long for the series," McCullough said.

"I think my form over the last two weeks has been a bit better but the Warriors game was a bit poor.

"It's all about learning and becoming a better player as you get older and experience those bigger games."

McCullough wasn't proud of his punch.

"It is something that shouldn't have happened. It was heat of the moment," he said.

"Poor old Chris might have a bit of a cold or an ant bite, but that was about it."

- AAP


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