The Souths this off-season signed the rising star to a four-year deal from 2021 with hopes of getting him a year early, even willing to part with a player to make it happen.
But with James on the shelf, Titans head of performance and culture Mal Meninga said the club could not afford to release Arrow early.
“We’re down with troops in the middle with Ryan going,” Meninga told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It will take a fair effort to get Jai Arrow out of our club this year. He’s probably our best middle player. At this stage, losing Jai, with Ryan going down, it’s highly unlikely we will release him.”