Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman has been cleared of a broken leg, but will still be sidelined for at least three weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Desperate Brisbane hold hope that a relieved Josh Hoffman can boost a final-round play-off tilt after the Kiwis international was cleared of a broken leg.

Hoffman feared the worst on Thursday night when he heard a “snap” in his previously-fractured right leg during the second half of the Broncos’ 42-16 loss to South Sydney.

But scans have cleared him of a break and detected a high ankle sprain likely to sideline the fullback for three weeks.

The 10th-placed Broncos say Hoffman could even return for their September 5 clash with Melbourne Storm at AAMI Stadium.

Forward Sam Thaiday admitted it would be a huge boost for Brisbane if they keep their finals hopes alive with wins over Newcastle and St George Illawarra in the next fortnight.

“He was faking it the whole time,” Thaiday joked. “I think his boots must have clicked together to be the crack he heard.

“Melbourne are slowly finding form now and if we can play them in the last round with our best team it’s only going to help us.”

Shifting either Justin Hodges or Ben Barba back to No.1 appear to be the most likely options for coach Anthony Griffin heading into Saturday night’s clash with the Knights.

Co-captain Corey Parker admitted it was “desperation time” for the Broncos following six losses from the past eight matches.