South Sydney have suffered a massive blow on the cusp of the pre-season challenge with forward Siliva Havili set to miss up to half the NRL season with an ankle injury.

The Tongan international joined the Rabbitohs from Canberra at the start of last season, making an immediate impact as an impact player off the bench, playing predominantly at lock during his 23 matches.

Wide World of Sports is reporting that the former Raider, who turns 30 next week, fell awkwardly on his ankle at training in a mishap, and is now facing a long stint on the sidelines depending on rehab.

"We are looking at at least 10 weeks," a Rabbitohs insider told Wide World of Sports.

"Hopefully he will heal quickly, but there was a fair bit of damage in there."

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 02: Issac Luke of the Warriors and Siliva Havili of the Raiders share a joke after the round 20 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Daily Telegraph is reporting however that Havili will miss as much as four months following the injury, which he sustained after stepping into a pothole on Erskineville Oval, and has since undergone tendon surgery to mend the injury.

Havili was shaping up as a certainty for a bench role this season, especially after the departures of Mark Nicholls and Kodi Nikorima to the Dolphins, with Siliva doubling as the club's hooker back-up in case Damien Cook were to miss time.

The nuggety forward was a huge out for the club in their preliminary final loss to the Penrith Panthers last year, missing the clash after sustaining a calf injury against Cronulla the previous week.

The 29 year-old only re-signed with South Sydney through to the end of 2025 a fortnight ago, and was set to bring up his 150th NRL game in 2023 prior to the injury.