Caitlan Johnston is undergoing physiotherapy for a knee injury and will be back in time for State of Origin but is resigned to missing Blues selection having been ruled out of this month's NRLW.
The Belmont 19-year-old will avoid surgery after damaging her PCL while playing in the NSW Women's Premiership major semi-final for Central Coast on September 12.
This saw the Prime Minister's XIII representative and Jillaroos squad member sidelined for Sunday's state decider, won by Central Coast, and unable to pick up another contract with the Sydney Roosters after making her NRLW debut last year.
"It is a bit of a bummer but these things happen," front-rower Johnston told the Newcastle Herald.
"I'm doing heaps of physio and shouldn't need surgery. I'll be back in time for Origin but whether or not I get considered after not playing NRLW is another thing."
Having played a major part of the 2020 campaign, Johnston was at Bankwest Stadium to watch minor premies Central Coast defeat the North Sydney Bears 16-10.
"It was a tense game. I'm still trying to recover from all the yelling I did," she said.
NSW Women's Premiership player of the year Hannah Southwell and player of the final Yasmin Meakes were named at lock and centre respectively for the Roosters, who meet the Dragons in round one.
Upper Hunter product Brydie Parker is on the wing for the Roosters while Mel Howard and Bobbi Law are on an extended bench. Central Coast captain Isabelle Kelly will line-up in the centres for St George Illawarra.
Central Coast's Jayme Fressard will make her maiden appearance for the Broncos against the Warriors. Simone Smith will wear the No.7 jersey for the New Zealand side.
Both games are in Canberra on Saturday.
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