St George Illawarra Dragons half-back Drew Hutchison is facing a long period on the sidelines after sustaining a serious knee injury in training.
The 21-year-old was looking to establish himself in the Dragons side following the departure of Benji Marshall, but tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Thursday and will undergo surgery.
"Unfortunately, Drew has ruptured his ACL during training on Thursday that will see him require surgery," Dragons head of athletic performance Nathan Pickworth said.
"There are a lot of upset faces amongst the playing group and football staff as a result and we are all shattered for him.
"Drew had undertaken a simple ball-work drill and there was a collision amongst some of the players involved and unfortunately his foot got caught in the ground.
"With the forces that were applied to his body at the time, Drew's knee got put into a vulnerable position which resulted in the ACL rupture. He has since under gone scans which have confirmed the injury and we have already spoken to a number of surgeons.
"We are presently gathering information over what is the best course of action for Drew in the short term being mindful that he is a young athlete and therefore making sure the best decision is also made about his long-term career and health.
"Drew will undergo surgery prior to the holiday period and will be provided all the help and support needed as he overcomes this setback."