The Gold Coast Titans have confirmed David Fifita will be sidelined for up to four weeks as he recovers from a Grade 2 MCL injury, while Patrick Herbert is also set for a stint on the sidelines.
Fifita, who bafflingly played from the bench against defending premiers the Penrith Panthers on Friday evening, lasted just 40 minutes before being brought from the field with a knee injury.
He was seen on the bench with his knee under ice following his withdrawal from the game, having been buckled over awkwardly in a three-man tackle while on the attack.
The star second rower had played through the injury before being brought from the field, with the Titans confirming in a statement that the bump on his right knee is a Grade 2 MCL sprain which will require up to four weeks in an effort to get back on the field.
While the club have mentioned up to four weeks, NRL Physio said the recovery range could work up to six weeks, which would rule Fifita out of Origin 1 where he would have a spot in the Queensland team.
Scans confirmed a grade 2 MCL sprain (partial tear) for David Fifita, Titans expect him to miss up to 4 weeks. Quite the effort to play 40+ minutes with it. Will spend the next few weeks in a brace to assist ligament healing, usual return to play range in the NRL is 3-6 weeks. pic.twitter.com/8DMwN2L3aE
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) April 30, 2022
Herbert, on the other hand, who managed to play 76 minutes against the Panthers, has suffered a fracture of his left cheekbone.
The club have confirmed he is waiting on further opinion from a specialist before a full diagnosis can be made, however, it's likely he will need to spend some weeks on the sideline to recover from the injury.
It's likely that Herbert will be replaced by usual first choice winger Phillip Sami in the centres, who has been missing for the last fortnight with an injury of his own, while Kevin Proctor will retain his spot in the starting second row for the Titans, with Sam McIntyre the most likely addition to the bench after displaying strong form for Tweed Heads in the QLD Cup.
Teams for Round 9 will be confirmed at 4pm (AEST) on Tuesday afternoon, with the Titans to travel to Mackay for a clash with the Sydney Roosters on Saturday afternoon.