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Jack Bird's season-ending knee injury won't end James Roberts' NRL exile, with the Brisbane centre training with the Broncos reserves on Monday.
Omitted for last week's clash with Manly, Roberts' hopes of an instant recall appeared likely when Bird ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against the Sea Eagles.
It however looks like Jamayne Isaako will face the Sydney Roosters this Friday with the youngster training at right wing on Monday and Gehamat Shibasaki moving into Bird's right centre spot.
Roberts however joined the club's reserves in a blue training bib and appears destined for Queensland Cup action this weekend.
Winger Corey Oates said Roberts appears to have taken his demotion by coach Anthony Seibold in his stride despite claims the NSW State of Origin representative wants out of Red Hill.
"He's doing all the training. Doing the gym, doing the recovery, doing everything, going to meetings," Oates said.
"That's everything that we ask and he's doing everything right."
Seibold's decision to move Shibasaki to right centre looks a brave one with the 21-year-old likely to go head-to-head with Latrell Mitchell if the Roosters' superstar suffers no setback to a groin complaint.
Mitchell limped off after scoring a first-half try in the premiers' 30-24 win over Canberra on Sunday but later returned to play out the match.
"I'm pretty sure he played inside me last year against the Cows," Oates said of Shibasaki.
"He's an aggressive ball-runner, makes pretty good decisions in defence, pretty excited to see how he goes."
Ex-Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has dismissed speculation linking South Sydney with a move to bring Roberts to Redfern and the 26-year-old's immediate future appears uncertain.
Five-eighth Anthony Milford missed Monday's session due to illness while recruit James Segeyaro made his first appearance after signing with the Broncos on a short-term deal from Cronulla.
Segeyaro is expected to push incumbent Broncos hooker Jake Turpin for an immediate start against the Roosters with Andrew McCullough (knee) out for at least the next month.
Bird, who is yet to undergo surgery on his injured knee, watched training from the sidelines and Oates sympathised with his teammate's plight.
"I was really hoping this would be one of his best years of football and I think he was heading that way," the Queensland Origin winger said.
"He was looking at an Origin jersey again ... hopefully we can all get around him, try and keep his spirits up for the year."
© AAP 2019