The Brisbane Broncos have confirmed Reece Walsh has suffered a facial fracture, adding injury to insult after the club lost Thursday night's Round 3 opener 34 points to 12 against the Penrith Panthers.

Walsh only played a handful of minutes in the clash before being taken from the field following a head clash.

The ugly incident left Walsh with vision issues in one eye despite originally passing his HIA. While it appeared he was set to return to the field, he never made his way back onto the ground, and vision later emerged of the Queensland Maroons State of Origin star on the bench with one eye almost completely shut.

That brought with it concern for a fracture in the face, and it's something which has now been confirmed by the Broncos, with head of performance Dave Ballard confirming the news in a statement, with Walsh's return timeline unclear as he prepares to drive back from Sydney with a club staff member today.

"Reece was taken to hospital last night after we arrived back at the team hotel and underwent a CT scan which showed a facial fracture," Ballard said in the statement.

“As a result, he cannot fly home and is being driven back up to Brisbane today by our staff.

“We will be able to determine how much footy Reece will miss once the injury settles down and after we consult a specialist in coming days.

“Reece's wellbeing is our priority and ensuring he is well looked after. We will get him safely back to Brisbane and then move forward.”

Coach Kevin Walters had also confirmed during last night's post-game press conference that he "wasn't too good" in the change rooms.

Walsh's absence - likely for a number of weeks - will likely see Tristan Sailor come into Brisbane's run on side at fullback with the club desperate to reverse a one and two start to the season.

Sailor spent time in the first-grade system playing in place of Walsh last year when he was either on Origin duty, injured, or suspended.

The son of legend Wendell Sailor was Brisbane's 18th man during the Penrith clash, but couldn't be activated due to Walsh not being ruled out over a failed head injury assessment.

Walters said post-game he "got it wrong" when it came to not having a specialist back on the bench to replace Walsh, and vowed not to make the same mistake moving forward, which could open up a position for a player like Corey Oates to make his return.

“We've got Tristan Sailor parked there as 18th man but he can't come into the game, so we won't be doing that again,” Walters said in his post-match press conference.

“Well, we have to (have him on our bench), because if you lose some of those outside backs, it's a specialist position, fullback."