The Sydney Roosters are facing an injury crisis in 2021, with several key figures sidelined for the remainder of the season and several more still tied to the casualty ward.
Tri-colours stars Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins join the injured Luke Keary in being hampered by ACL injuries, with their seasonal campaigns brought to a cruel, premature end.
The likes of Freddy Lussick (arm), Sam Verrills (eye) and Boyd Cordner (concussion) remain sidelined for a prolonged period, while Jake Friend has already announced his retirement from the game.
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The Chooks will also be without Sitili Tupouniua for their Round 9 clash with fellow premiership contender Parramatta due to suspension, adding further headaches to Trent Robinson's selection planning.
The Roosters are well positioned in their reserves, but might need to call on a mid-season recruit or two to make their tilt for the championship as worthy as the Eels, Panthers, Storm and Rabbitohs.
Speaking on Sky Sports' Big Sports Breakfast, senior reporter Dean Ritchie linked Broncos prop Matt Lodge and Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita as possible reinforcements for the Roosters.
“One name Buzz (Phil Rothfield) brought up was Matt Lodge who seems to be on the nose at up there in Broncos and another name I’ve heard is Andrew Fifita who is on the nose at Cronulla,” Ritchie said on Wednesday.
“I think they probably do need some more depth.
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“Lindsay Collins is a big loss. We all talked about Brett Morris and that was the heartbreak the whole game went through but in terms of the player they will miss more I think it could probably be Lindsay Collins.”
Lodge has been closely linked with the Panthers this season amid concerns surrounding his future at Red Hill.
Currently tied to the Broncos until the end of next season at close to $700,000-per-year, Brisbane would be keen to off-load the 25-year-old to open up cap room.
The Sharks face a similar scenario with Fifita, who is understood to be earning $800,000 for Cronulla despite plying his trade in the reserves so far this year.
The 31-year-old has already been linked to a mid-season move away from the Shire, with English Super League outfit Wakefield Trinity having expressed their interest in the former Australian representative.