Canterbury Bulldogs young gun Paul Alamoti has suffered a facial fracture during the under-19 State of Origin clash at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night when playing for the young NSW Blues side.
Alamoti, who has seemingly been closing in on a debut for the Bulldogs this season, and could still do so before the season is out, was pictured on the sideline with his left eye practically closed during the second half.
It came after he was one of four first-half try-scorers for the Blues, crossing in the 18th minute as the Andrew Ryan-coached home side ultimately ran out winners 32 points to 4 over Queensland.
Canterbury Bulldogs director of football Phil Gould revealed through his Twitter account on Friday afternoon that Alamoti has suffered a "small fracture" in the cheekbone.
He will consult a specialist on Monday to determine whether surgery will be required to fix the injury.
Paul Alimoti has small fracture in cheekbone. Specialist will decide on Monday if he requires surgery. @NRL_Bulldogs
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) June 24, 2022
NRL Physio suggested during the game that if no fracture was present, he could return as soon as next week.
Significant shiner (facial haematoma) for Paul Alamoti. Doesn’t always indicate a fracture is present - minimal cushioning/thin skin around the face makes for easy fluid buildup with facial trauma. If lucky enough to avoid a fracture could be fit as soon as next week #U19Origin pic.twitter.com/D2gCMAKMV2
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) June 23, 2022
It's understood that, should he require surgery, that timeline will be significantly increased, while, even with no surgery, a fracture of any description means he will be looking at a few weeks on the sideline.
The young gun starred during his time on the field for the Blues on Thursday evening, as he has done at NSW Cup level for the Bulldogs this year in his seven games.
He averages 143 metres per game and has added three try assists to go with 21 offloads at three per game, helping Canterbury to their equal first positioning on the current reserve grade table.