While Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson received a pleasant surprise from the scans on his knee injury this afternoon, Panthers forward Trent Merrin was not so lucky, with his scans merely confirming the original diagnosis.
The Panthers today announced that, as suspected, Merrin has suffered a high grade MCL tear, and as a result will miss 6-8 weeks of football.
That puts his immediate playing future in the hands of his young teammates, who’ll need to win at least 4 (if not 5) of the Panthers’ remaining 7 matches in order to qualify for the finals (at which point, you’d expect Merrin to be ready to go).
It’s a huge loss for both the club and player, with Merrin being in excellent form of late, and otherwise being a good chance to keep his Australian Test spot for the Rugby League World Cup.
The injury also comes on the back of Panthers captain Matt Moylan missing last weekend’s Warriors clash with a hamstring injury.