The carnage of Cronulla's season is set to leak into next year with Shaun Johnson set to miss the first two months of Cronulla's 2021 NRL campaign.
The 30-year-old has undergone surgery on a ruptured achilles he suffered in round 19 and is not expected to play the first third of next season.
In a huge blow for the Sharks, the former New Zealand international is unlikely to be unavailable until at least round eight after the season kicks off in March.
Surgery last month was hailed a success but Johnson will require a nine-month recovery.
The star half will be joined on the sidelines by prop Royce Hunt, who suffered a ruptured patella in the same ill-fated game as Johnson.
Hunt is also expected to endure a nine-month recovery.
Second-rower Siosifa Talakai played out the year with injury and is in doubt for the first few rounds of 2021 after undergoing a shoulder surgery.
The club does not yet have a return date for Talakai but it is hoped that if he misses any game time it will be just a few weeks.
The setbacks compound an injury-riddled 2020 season for the Sharks with stars Johnson, Matt Moylan, Chad Townsend, Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita all missing matches.
Johnson led the competition with 23 try assists in the regular season despite playing just 16 games, and was a key factor in the Sharks playing finals for the sixth year in a row.
He is set to return to New Zealand to spend time with family before returning to Australia for the pre-season, which starts on November 25.
Hooker Blayke Brailey has undergone surgery on a syndesmosis injury he suffered against Canberra in the first week of the finals.
However, he is expected to be fit to begin pre-season training after Christmas.