The North Queensland Cowboys have confirmed young fullback Tom Chester's season is over with an ACL injury.

Chester was brought from the field last week during a heavy loss to the Cronulla Sharks, having come off the bench after halftime to replace Chad Townsend who was also struggling with an injury.

The young gun fullback, who started a number of games earlier in the season during a suspension to Scott Drinkwater, and made his NRL debut at the back-end of 2022, was taken from the field just minutes before fulltime however.

It was revealed in the post-game press conference that a suspected ACL injury had been confirmed, and now scans have confirmed the damage, with a full ACL injury typically taking between nine and twelve months to heal.

The clear second-choice fullback in Townsville behind Drinkwater following the off-season departure of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to the Dolphins, Chester started three games and has played another three off the bench this season, as well as being named but going unused during a narrow Round 8 win over the Newcastle Knights.

In those six games, despite half of them coming with limited minutes, Chester has scored three tries, added 13 tackle breaks and ran for 93 metres per game, attempting to spark a faltering Cowboys side to life.

While Drinkwater will now go through the rest of the season hoping to avoid any injuries, suspensions or other reasons for a game off, it leaves the Cowboys in a position where they could need to change their run-on side to cover if he is injured again.

Valentine Holmes is a long-term fullback prior to his switch to the centres and could line up at the back, while the versatile Brendan Elliot, who is a backline Mr fix it for Todd Payten, could be another option.

With Jake Granville on the bench, the Cowboys have handed a debut to Kulikefu Finefeuiaki for this weekend, meaning they will run without a specific backline utility, although Granville has proven his ability to fill in anywhere on the park.

The game against the Sydney Roosters during magic round, where the Cowboys will attempt to secure just their fourth win of the campaign, will be played at 4:05pm (AEST) on Sunday.