He suffered a horrific injury, one that saw him lose a lot of weight, as well as forced to undergo large amounts of tough rehabilitation, but for Broncos winger Jharal Yow Yeh upon his return, he knows that if he has to change his style, so be it.
Suffering the shocking broken leg this year, Yow Yeh has bulked up to 105kg, in a bid to match it with the other physically strong wingers in the NRL, and he would not be surprised if he slowly made a transition into a back-rower, like Luke Lewis did.
“I’m pretty confident I can stay at that weight and be fit,” Yow Yeh said.
“I will need to be strong to be able to come back. I have lost a lot of my speed, I think, and my jumping ability might not be as good as it was … so I will have to try and find something else to make me better in the game.
“I’m a lot footy smarter now off the field. I just have to try and put it on the field now.
“I would love to be able to play centre, maybe even be a big boy in the second-row one day. You never know, like a Luke Lewis type. He started off on the wing.
“I’m still growing so I’ve got a long way to go. If I don’t fit in on the wing hopefully I can fit in somewhere.”
Yow Yeh’s commitment cannot be questioned, as he trains three times a week at Broncos HQ, and does weights, cycling, boxing, rowing, as well as other exercise techniques to maintain the strength.
“It might be a punish now but it’s going to be better for me next year. I know I’m going to come back bigger and better,” Yow Yeh said.
“It’s a long road for me and everyone is on holidays, but hopefully when they come back I will be way past the boys and I will need to be.”
Despite all the hard work, however, Yow Yeh still needs one more operation stemming from his injury, before he can think about playing again.
“With my skin graft I’m probably going to have to get liposuction on it,” he said, pointing to his swollen ankle.
“Not many boys at 22 can say they’ve had liposuction.”
Yow Yeh witnessed a similar broken leg to his in Normanton, whilst doing community work during his rehabilitation.
“He was running backwards, stepped off his leg and clearly just snapped his tibia and fibula,” Yow Yeh said. “It was hard to watch. I couldn’t imagine the pain he was going through. I’m a grown-up but he was only 10 or 11.
“I went and saw him in hospital before I left … he was getting flown into Townsville to get a couple of operations. The poor kid, he had to travel in a plane (with his leg broken).
“I know his pain. I travelled from Perth. But I couldn’t imagine how tough it was for him going from Normanton to Townsville. That wouldn’t be good for him.”
That trip to Normanton, was a part of Yow Yeh’s work for Deadly Ears as an ambassador, as well as other initiatives with the Former Origin Greats.
“It’s been good, I’ve really enjoyed it. I love getting away with the kids. It’s something I want to do after footy as well,” Yow Yeh said.