PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Reed Mahoney of the Eels passes during the round one NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at Panthers Stadium on March 17, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Parramatta Eels hooker Reed Mahoney has been ruled out for up to two months with a broken foot.

Mahoney suffered the broken foot during the Eels’ blowout 46-6 victory over the Gold Coast on Sunday, with the initial fear being that he had suffered a serious ankle injury.

Eels’ coach Brad Arthur later revealed that scans showed that Mahoney’s injury was with his foot.

“We’re waiting for full confirmation with Reed but it’s looking like he’s got a broken foot, which would put him out for six to eight weeks,” Arthur said. “He’ll see a specialist tomorrow, but we know he’ll be out for an extended period.”

With the NRL season now in a suspension for an indefinite period, Mahoney may be able to return to the side in time. However, ff he is not fit, Arthur has identified Ray Stone as Mahoney’s replacement.

“Ray Stone has trained there during the pre-season and he’s probably the answer at the moment. He can play anywhere and he’s a real team player.”

“He also played there for most of the Nines. I know it’s a different style of footy, but all we need him to do is make his tackles, which he’s very good at, and pass the ball off the ground to our halves.”

Stone has played just seven NRL matches and averaged 22 minutes last season in six appearances off the bench.

Mahoney’s importance to the Eels was shown on Sunday when Clint Gutherson, the Eels fittest player, filled in at no.9 and was gassed afterward. Mahoney averages over 100 touches per game.

Depth in the dummy half ranks was flagged as a main concern for the club by Eels great Peter Sterling before the start of the season.

Parramatta suffered another blow with prop Nathan Brown set to miss the next two matches after being hit with a grade-two dangerous contact charge for his clash with Gold Coast back Dale Copley.