Having already been ruled out of State of Origin I, Josh Dugan now faces at least a month out as he prepares for elbow surgery.
Josh Dugan is set for at least a month on the sidelines after St George Illawarra Dragons confirmed the full-back will undergo surgery on his injured elbow.
Dugan, 26, was pulled out of the New South Wales squad for Wednesday's State of Origin opener against Queensland over the weekend, having failed to recover from an injury he sustained against South Sydney Rabbitohs on May 19.
The Dragons have now confirmed he will not return until at least July 4 - nine days before the final game of the Origin series.
Tony Ayoub, Dragons head of medical and performance, said: "Josh suffered a hyperextension injury to his left elbow during the game against the Rabbitohs and his initial scans showed a small fracture in the anterior part of the joint as well as an old fragment in the posterior joint.
"Josh consulted with Club medical staff as well as an orthopaedic specialist whom both felt at the time that he would settle within the next 10 -14 days. With treatment and rest Josh improved while in camp with the NSW Blues State of Origin squad.
"Unfortunately, while training with the Blues on Saturday he aggravated the injury and his elbow has since become locked due to the fragments that are floating in his joint.
"Club medical staff have again consulted with the orthopaedic specialist and after further scans we believe the best course of action for Josh will be to remove the fragments via an arthroscope. This will give him the best opportunity to complete the season without further exacerbating his elbow.
"He will have the surgery immediately is expected to be sidelined for the next four weeks."
Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was left furious by the timing of Dugan's withdrawal from Origin I, which led to Josh Morris being called up as a replacement by the Blues on the day he was due to represent his club against Canberra Raiders.
However, New South Wales Rugby League CEO Dave Trodden insisted his organisation had informed the Bulldogs of Morris' call-up as soon as they could.