Injured Knights prop David Klemmer says he will do whatever it takes to get on the field for Sunday's sudden death clash against Parramatta and won't hear of pulling out despite battling a painful torn rib cartilage.
"I'm in, I've already said exactly that to Adz [Knights coach Adam O'Brien]," Klemmer told the Newcastle Herald. "They'll have to drag me away to stop me from playing.
"This is sudden death now, no more chances and it will be a long time between drinks to play footy again if we lose this one.
"I'm desperate to play. I'll just be doing absolutely everything I have to make sure I'm out there."
Klemmer is one of three Newcastle forwards racing the clock to be fit to make the trip north to Rockhampton.
Origin prop Daniel Saifiti is on track to come back early from a torn knee medial ligament that has seen him miss the side's past three matches while Jesse Sue pulled out of the Broncos game last weekend due to tightness in his hamstring.
Of the three, Klemmer appears the most doubtful with players usually taking at least a couple of weeks and sometimes longer to recover from rib cartilage tears that are considered more painful than broken ribs.
But with everything on the line against the Eels, Klemmer is confident a pain-killing injection and padding around his ribs will be enough to get him out there.
"We're pretty confident the needle will work and I'll be ready to go," he said. "If they can't numb it and I can still feel it, it's going to be annoying but I'll push through it.
"On Tuesday, I did some straight line running, a bit of boxing and some movement stuff. I can still feel it but they didn't expect me to be running that early so they were pretty happy with that.
"I'll do some more on Thursday and then do some contact during captain's run and we'll go from there. I think the doctor wants me to get through captain's run without a needle and see how it is.
"If I can do that, I'll definitely be sweet."
Klemmer admits he initially feared the worst during the game after copping the injury in a legal tackle.
"I was gutted at the time because of how painful it was," he said. "The immediate thought was, there goes me for the finals. That's how worried I was about it. I thought 'shit, what have I done here'.
"It was just a whack, smack bang in the ribs. I wasn't filthy at the shot one bit. It's just part of the game. If it was a swinging arm or something illegal, I wouldn't be happy but it was nothing like that. You just have to cop your medicine.
"I felt it pop as I got up to play the ball. We had another tackle and next thing someone called out to me to take another hit-up. So I grabbed the ball but as I did that, I felt my ribs pop twice and that was before I'd even contacted anyone. Those two sharp stabbing pops in my ribs really scared me."
Klemmer, who vaguely remembers suffering a similar rib injury during the early part of his career at the Bulldogs, spent an uncomfortable night last Saturday dosed up on pain-killers.
"They gave me some pain-killers to try and settle it down and I slept on my back sitting up but I reckon I didn't get much more than two hours all night the night of the game," he said.
"You can't really do anything except ice it. You just have to wait and hope it settles down. But I can't go through the whole off-season wondering whether I should have played if I don't. That will just eat me up. Like I said, I'm in and I've already told Adz that so that's where my mindset is - I'm playing."
Klemmer is confident that both Saifiti and Sue will also get through the build-up this week and be ready to face the Eels.
"I ran with Jesse on Tuesday and he seemed pretty good," he said. "DSaif ran after me and he seemed pretty happy too so hopefully all three of us are on deck."
Klemmer wasn't the only casualty out of the Broncos defeat with hooker Chris Randall breaking his thumb and centre Bradman Best needing surgery to repair a badly cut lip. Randall won't play any part in the Knights' finals campaign.
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