CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs holds his hand after being injured during the round 16 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park on July 1, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have been dealt a massive blow with captain Greg Inglis ruled out for up to six weeks with a thumb injury.

Inglis sustained the injury in Souths’ thrilling 21-20 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Cairns last Sunday, where an innocent tackle from Te Maire Martin in the sixth minute looked to be the cause.

Prior to the injury, Inglis was getting back to peak fitness and his destructive self after recovering from an ACL injury, inspiring Souths’ charge to second position on the ladder.

Having won eight straight games, Souths will be looking to fill the gigantic hole left by Inglis, with Hymel Hunt and Adam Doueihi the front runners after good performances for their feeder club North Sydney.

The injury, which Inglis was expected to undergo surgery for on Monday night, will also keep him out of next Wednesday’s State of Origin match, stopping him from captaining his state in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium.

Souths coach Anthony Seibold told the Sydney Morning Herald it was an unwelcome setback for his star centre.

“I would have loved to see him lead Queensland out at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night. I’m disappointed for him because I know how much that means to him,” Seibold said.

“We’ve got his welfare at the forefront of our minds with regards to his recovery from his hand. Hopefully he gets an opportunity to go in and spend some time with the Queensland group and then come back to us and follow a program that has him in the best shape possible for the back end of the season.”

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