Tyson Lofipo faces a long road back to the top

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TYSON Lofipo knows what Daniel Vidot is going through.

He just wishes he could be doing it too.

Ipswich Jets prop Lofipo has been sidelined since tearing his cruciate ligament in early April last year.

He will be watching from the sidelines as the Jets take on Central Queensland in tonight’s Intrust Super Cup.

“I’d like to think I’ll be ready to play in four weeks,” Lofipo said of his likely return to playing.

“It might be a little bit longer.

“I don’t want to come back under prepared.”

But given the settled nature of the Jets side he isn’t expecting to slot straight back into the first grade side.

With Rod Griffin leading the way in the middle of the ruck, Brisbane Broncos winger Daniel Vidot finding his feet in the forwards, Billy McConachie wreaking havoc from the bench and Kurtis Lingwoodock not getting a look in, Lofipo knows he will have to be at his best to warrant a spot.

And if that means working his way back through Reserve grade so be it.

“It’s good for the club to have those selection headaches,” the 26-year-old former Brothers junior said. “It keeps them honest.

“I don’t mind coming back in the BRL (Brisbane Rugby League).

“I’m happy to get a start there.

“I have full faith I’ll be back to where I was when I left off.”

Lofipo has worked hard to recover from the first major injury of its type he has suffered.

His weight went to 120kg when he couldn’t train but he has got it back to 109kg.

The training has been gruelling.

But it is worse without the outlet of actually playing to provide some release.

“The hardest part is watching them play footy and winning,” Lofipo said.

Like Vidot, Lofipo is a former winger who found himself suited to life in the middle of the park.

So he knows exactly what Vidot is experiencing, trying to learn what is now second nature to Lofipo.

At times in round one Vidot looked a bit lost in the middle.

But last week’s improved effort, with 157 run metres, may have taken him a step further from ever returning to his preferred position on the wing.

“The hardest thing is the workload,” Lofipo said of the transition from winger to prop.

“It’s a lot more demanding, constantly running and defending.”

Jets Reserve Grade travel to Carina for the final round of the BRL pre-season competition at 5pm today.

Jets Colts travel to Coorparoo in search of their first win, against Easts at 12.15pm today.

Jets team: 1. Wes Conlon, 2. Marmin Barba, 3. Chris Walker, 4. Nemani Valekapa, 5. Carlin Anderson, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Dane Phillips, 8. Daniel Vidot, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Rod Griffin, 11. Sam Martin, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Keiron Lander, 14. Gerico Cecil, 15. Troy O’Sullivan, 16. Billy McConachie, 17. Liam Capewell.

Comeback trail

Tyson Lofipo

Occupation: Storeman

Favourite player growing up: Jonah Lomu

Biggest influence: My dad, Faletolu.

His best advice: Work hard and be humble.

Which teammate would you most like with you if you were dropped in the wilderness? Dane Phillips, for the entertainment.