Wests Tigers hooker Matt Ballin is reportedly facing another knee reconstruction, a blow which could have further ramifications for the club given coach Jason Taylor's simmering feud with Robbie Farah.
The Nine Network reported that Ballin had told teammates that he would have to go under the knife for his latest knee injury.
The 32-year-old's 2015 season was ended prematurely when he ruptured his ACL, an injury which kept him out of this year's opening rounds.
After an off-season switch from Manly to the Tigers, he has managed just two games this year and yet another long-term knee injury could spell the end of his career.
Ballin did not take the field in Sunday's 32-18 loss to Sydney Roosters with Taylor electing to play Elijah Taylor at No.9 after Farah was rested.
Taylor insisted that Farah had been allowed to recover, after playing State of Origin I four days earlier. However he could not guarantee that NSW rake Farah would be picked for Friday night's clash with South Sydney.
Farah has been linked with an early exit from his contract to English Super League club Leeds, a claim denied by his manager Sam Ayoub on radio on Monday.
With Ballin unavailable, it could force Taylor's hand, however Elijah Taylor and Dene Halatau shape as options at No.9.