Brisbane Broncos will be without Andrew McCullough for the remainder of the NRL season as he prepares to undergo knee surgery.
Hooker McCullough was helped from the field after a collision with team-mate Adam Blair in Friday's 28-14 defeat to Parramatta Eels left him unable to continue.
The Broncos have confirmed the 27-year-old suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament that will require surgery to repair.
To make matters worse for premiership-chasing Brisbane, McCullough may not be fit to return to action until the 2018 campaign has begun.
"The general recovery for this injury is seven to eight months so he could be in danger of missing the first few weeks of next season," said Broncos' high performance manager Jeremy Hickmans.
"However Andrew is noted for healing well, and with his commitment to his rehab will give himself every chance of being back early in the year."