Darren Lockyer believes Brisbane must move Anthony Milford back to the halves to keep their NRL finals hopes alive if Jake Turpin is suspended.
Turpin looks set to miss two games after being slapped with a grade two dangerous contact charge following his swinging arm on a prone Dylan Edwards in their last round 24-12 win over Penrith.
In another headache for Broncos coach Anthony Seibold ahead of Friday night's grudge match against South Sydney, impact forward Tevita Pangai faces a four-week ban even with an early plea for a crusher tackle on James Maloney.
The likely return of veterans Matt Gillett (back) and Alex Glenn (knee) against Wayne Bennett's Rabbitohs will provide some relief for Brisbane if Tongan international Pangai is banned.
But Seibold faces a likely conundrum over his halves.
Turpin had only just found his feet at halfback in a makeshift pairing with former fullback Darius Boyd but faces time on the sidelines for the high shot that earned him a stint in the sin-bin.
Seibold looked set to opt for either 18-year-old Tom Dearden - who is recovering from an ankle injury - or Sean O'Sullivan as a replacement at halfback against the Rabbitohs.
But Lockyer believes ex-pivot Milford would be the best choice if they are to remain in the finals hunt.
Milford has shown sparks of brilliance after swapping with Boyd and moving to fullback the last seven rounds.
He has helped Brisbane move provisionally to seventh, leapfrogging the Panthers with their second straight win.
"In terms of winning games, which they need to, the only option in my opinion is to move Milford back in the halves, and have someone like (winger) Jamayne Isaako back at fullback," Lockyer told Nine Network.
Lockyer believed it would be too big a risk to thrust teenager Dearden into the halves after battling a serious ankle injury.
"I think they were just starting to get used to the halves with Boyd and Turpin but I don't think Turpin will be there for a couple of weeks," Lockyer said.
"There's a couple of options. There's Tom Dearden and Sean O'Sullivan.
"But there is still a question mark over Dearden's fitness. He is probably still not 100 per cent fit."
Australian Associated Press