Queensland star Kalyn Ponga is in doubt for the upcoming Origin series in November, with the Knights fullback sustaining a shoulder injury.
Ponga is likely to require surgery on a labral tear in his shoulder, potentially ruling the Maroons No.1 out of the entire series.
The 22-year-old could face a four-month recovery schedule, with the Knights hoping to have their star man undergo the operation as soon as possible in preparation for the 2021 season.
It is understood that Ponga isn't keen on staying in an NRL bubble to play for Queensland, while reports suggest he could hold off shoulder surgery until after Origin.
“I think (new Queensland coach) Wayne (Bennett) will get on the phone and try and convince him to play,” The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kent said on NRL 360.
“I’m led to believe it’s wear and tear and he’s had this for some time.
“I think he’s carried it for a while. There was talk he was going to pull out of Origin anyway, along with the shoulder which is clearly a problem.
“Life in the bubble has worn him down as well, everything has piled on and I think it was long odds for him to play Origin anyway.”
Queensland's back line has already taken a number of blows for their 2020 campaign, with Wests co-captain Moses Mbye and Cowboys pair Michael Morgan and Kyle Feldt ruled out with injury.
North Queensland star Valentine Holmes will also miss the opening game due to suspension, with Maroons and Storm great Billy Slater suggesting AJ Brimson should get the nod.
“Huge news for Kalyn Ponga and also the Queenslanders. He’s a big part of that Queensland team.,” Slater said on WWOS Radio.
“I’m not sure what to make of that but it will be very disappointing if Kalyn Ponga is not available for Origin this year.
“AJ Brimson has been playing outstanding football so he would certainly come into contention for that position but it would be great to have Kalyn Ponga out there.”