Canberra Raiders have been dealt a major blow ahead of the NRL finals after star playmaker Blake Austin suffered a potential season-ending hand injury.
Austin's season is in doubt with the 25-year-old to undergo surgery on Thursday after injuring his hand during a training session on Wednesday.
In a statement released, the third-placed Raiders said Austin is facing an "indefinite period" on the sidelines, which "could be for the rest of the season".
"It was a very simple accident and very unfortunate for Blake," Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.
"As I said last week we are not a one man team and Sam Williams will come into the team now and we know he'll do a great job for us.
"This will challenge us and everybody has to buy in and assist in picking up the slack."
The Raiders are third in the NRL table with two rounds of the regular season remaining.
On Saturday, the Raiders are away to Manly Sea Eagles.