SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 03: Waqa Blake of the Eels breaks away to score a try during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at CommBank Stadium, on April 03, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels have reportedly suffered a double injury blow to start the new year, with both Nathan Brown and Waqa Blake to race the clock for Round 1.

The Eels spent much of the first half of the 2022 season battling injuries, with an crisis in the outside backs at one stage seeing the club struggling to name a team with players in correct positions.

That injury crisis eventually subsided for Brad Arthur's side, who would go on to break their semi-final curse, playing in the grand final which they ultimately lost to the Penrith Panthers.

The Eels, who will be out to go one step further in 2023, will have the likes of Haze Dunster and Sean Russell back and available for selection from Round 1 this year, but centre turned winger Blake, as well as out of favour forward Brown, may not be among the players queuing up for a spot in Arthur's side.

Wacko's Whispers are reporting that the duo have both suffered injuries in pre-season, with Brown a hamstring, and Blake a broken arm.

It's unclear at this stage whether either player will be available for Round 1, and the club are yet to make comment on either injury.

Blake was a permanent part of the Eels side in 2022, and is likely to be so again in 2023, with the only question being whether he will play at centre or on the wing.

Brown, on the other hand, was out of the side for much of 2022, and is free to leave the club at the end of this season with the Eels already confirming they won't offer the off-contract forward a new deal.

The forward has been linked with a swap to the Wests Tigers, but unless he can secure an early release, will be pushing for a spot in Arthur's top 17 in 2023 to avoid spending the season in the NSW Cup.

The Eels are due to start their season with the opening game of the year against the Melbourne Storm.