St George Illawarra are hopeful captain Gareth Widdop will be available for the NRL finals after scans on shoulder indicated he did not require season-ending surgery.
There were fears Widdop’s season could be over after he dislocated his shoulder in Saturday night’s 40-4 loss to Parramatta but the results of initial scans were positive and the Dragons hope he can return in three weeks.
The exact length of time Widdop is sidelined will depend on his rate of progress in the early stage of rehabilitation. Utility Kurt Mann is under consideration to deputise for Widdop at five-eighth in Saturday’s match against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, with Darren Nichols and Jai Field the other options.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor will also name a new captain on Tuesday, with fellow England Test star James Graham in contention, along with Kangaroos second rower Tyson Frizell and hooker Cameron McInnes.
St George Illawara are already without NSW Origin prop Paul Vaughan (ankle/knee) until the play-offs, while New Zealand international Jason Nightingale missed the match against the Eels due a neck injury.