NRL Rd 4 - Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Jack Hetherington of the Bulldogs looks on during the round four NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Stadium Australia, on April 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs forward Jack Hetherington has officially been ruled out for the 2022 season as the shoulder injury he sustained last night against Manly was significantly worse than initially thought.

What was initially believed to be a minor tear has now been confirmed to be a bony bankart fracture of the glenoid, which will require a full shoulder reconstruction and nine months of recovery.

Bulldogs supremo concerned the injury was worse thought on Twitter, while Wide World of Sports reported his season was done and dusted.

Penrith Panthers star prop Moses Leota suffered a similar injury during the season opener, yet faces a drastically lesser stint on the sidelines as he's believed to miss eight to 10 weeks of action.

The difference between Hetherington's injury, when compared to Leota, can be explained by the degree of displacement and severity of the fracture pattern.

Given that the injury was initially thought to be a subluxation of the shoulder (minor dislocation), it can be understood that the accumulation of such micro-traumas to the region over time in addition to the forward's ultra physical style of play likely resulted in greater structural damage.

The Bulldogs will miss Hetherington's imposing presence on the field as they look to bounce back from a one and two start to the season.

The prop turned second rower is likely to be replaced in the starting pack by Corey Waddell in the short-term, before Matt Doorey returns from a long lay off in the coming months.