Newcastle Knights prop David Klemmer could be facing surgery with fears he may have re-broken his left wrist and suffered more ligament damage during the club's humiliating final round loss to Penrith on Sunday.
But at this stage, it may not impact his chances of playing for the Kangaroos in end-of-season Tests against New Zealand and Tonga if he is selected. Australia takes on the Kiwis in Wollongong on October 25 before a trip across the Tasman to meet Tonga at Eden Park on November 2.
Klemmer had scans on Tuesday and will see a specialist on Thursday to learn his fate.
He was noticeably favouring his wrist late in the game against the Panthers but it is unclear if he has fractured it again or if the discomfort was caused from ligament damage.
"It could be surgery or he may have to wear a split again - that will be determined by the specialist," Knights director of football Brian Canavan said.
"At this stage, the likelihood is he will still be available for the two Tests at the end of the season even if he has to have the surgery."
Klemmer has been a regular at Test level in recent years and will have a six-week window before the Kiwi Test to get himself fit again. Just how heavily the injury impacts on his selection hopes is unclear but he will give several potential rivals still involved in the finals series an advantage.
Klemmer first fractured his wrist playing for NSW in the early minutes of Origin I. He still played the opening 52 minutes straight and was the best forward on the ground but scans later revealed the damage and he was forced to miss Origin II.
Despite also suffering from chronic ligament damage in his hand, he opted against surgery at the time and was back on the field within three weeks, first taking on the Brisbane Broncos to prove his fitness before playing in the series decider won by the Blues.
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He has regularly needed pain-killing injections to play during the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, scans revealed centre Sione Mata'utia suffered a grade two knee ligament tear in the opening minutes of the loss to the Panthers.
Mata'utia tried to stay on the field but was replaced after 10 minutes after suffering the injury in his first carry of the game.
His replacement, Kurt Mann, was also in the wars, badly dislocating a finger before being forced off with concussion.
He failed to return after failing a HIA with backrower Mitch Barnett forced to play more than half the game in the centres.
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