Blow for Blues as Jake Trbojevic ruled out of Origin I

·2-min read

Jake Trbojevic will miss the State of Origin series opener for NSW after he was ruled out for a month with a calf injury.

Trbojevic was hurt in Manly's 26-10 loss to Gold Coast on Saturday night, before scans confirmed a grade-two tear.

The Sea Eagles expect Trbojevic will miss at least four weeks, meaning he will not return before Origin I in Adelaide on May 31.

Trbojevic's absence comes as a significant blow for a Blues' pack that is already understrength.

He was overlooked for Game I last year but was brought back to start in the front row in NSW's win in Perth, before also starting in their series-deciding loss.

Payne Haas and Junior Paulo are expected to start for the Blues in Adelaide if fit, but after them there are depth issues on the bench.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard had been mounting a case to regain his spot after losing it to Trbojevic for Game II last year but the Parramatta prop is out long-term with a serious groin injury.

Liam Martin, who can play on an edge or in the middle for NSW, is also sidelined by a hamstring injury and will not play this weekend.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary indicated on Tuesday the forward would be back before May 31, but his limited game time in the lead up could prompt NSW coach Brad Fittler to reconsider Martin's position.

Jacob Saifiti, who came off the bench for NSW in Origin III last year, has also been limited to four games this season after a lengthy suspension.

Angus Crichton missed the first seven rounds of the season after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but has declared he will be ready to play in Origin if selected.

Trbojevic's injury news came as his brother Tom was cleared to return from a groin injury at fullback for Manly against Brisbane, with NSW officials hopeful he remains injury-free in the lead up to the series.