Josh Dugan will once again miss time with injury after he was ruled out for nearly a month by the Cronulla Sharks.
The fullback was a late withdrawal from the Sharks’ team to face South Sydney on Friday night, with the club revealing a medium-term problem.
“Josh has a stress reaction in his leg and we need to take the playing and training load away to enable it to recover,” Sharks fitness boss Andrew Gray said.
“We will assess his recovery and are hopeful he will be fit to return in round 16.”
The injury is another blow for Dugan, who has played more than 18 NRL games in a season just twice in his 10 completed campaigns.
He was two weeks into a return from a broken foot that forced him to miss a fortnight, while he was also sidelined for another two matches earlier this season.
Following his move to Cronulla from St George Illawarra he spoke out against an unwanted label.
“To be honest over the last two years I’ve missed 10 games,” Dugan told NRL.com in January.
“So I don’t think being called ‘injury prone’ and all those things is warranted. It annoys me a bit that everyone thinks or says that about me missing games.”
Sione Katoa replaced Dugan in the Sharks’ run-on side to face Souths.
Cronulla are gunning for a seventh consecutive win as they attempt to remain in the top four.