The Canberra Raiders might have had the bye in the NRL over the weekend, but they are struggling to keep players fit on the park regardless.
The club's NSW Cup side - who had a strong 30 points to 16 win over a returning Matt Lodge and the North Sydney Bears on Saturday in Belconnen - have suffered three injuries, with all three on the fringe of first grade and set to impact on the Raiders' depth options in the weeks to come as Ricky Stuart's side desperately fight for a way to put themselves into the finals.
Rushton's was by far the worst of the trio, with the English-born backrower suffering a fractured jaw which is set to keep him out for anywhere between eight and ten weeks.
The injury, which is graphic in nature, has seen Rushton already have surgery and he will now begin a lengthy phase of rest of then training to get back on the field.
An eight-week injury means his season is over unless the Raiders' first-grade or NSW Cup teams make the finals and then he is selected.
Raiders forward Harry Rushton will miss 8-10 weeks after fracturing his jaw this past weekend. Has now undergone surgery, one of the more graphic facial fractures we have seen in recent times pic.twitter.com/uBmLw89hn8
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) July 11, 2022
Mooney's injury is still in the unknown bracket, with the young Raiders forward who debuted earlier this season suffering an ankle injury. Scans will determine whether he needs to have surgery, however, he will certainly miss a handful of weeks.
Velemei, on the other hand, has suffered a re-aggravation of a previous knee injury and will miss another one or two weeks before being fit for selection, where he will likely have to once again work his way back through the NSW Cup before being considered for first-grade duties.
Canberra's first-grade side currently sits in 11th place on the table with 7 wins from 16 games, just two points out of the top 8 with 8 rounds remaining.