Daly Cherry-Evans is in a race against the clock to be fit for State of Origin after he was ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
The favourite to be Queensland captain and halfback, Cherry-Evans will be sidelined for between and four and six weeks after his ankle was trapped under a tackle from Canberra’s Elliott Whitehead on Sunday.
With Origin five-and-a-half weeks away, it means that unless the 30-year-old returns early he would have to enter Maroons camp without a game under his belt.
If his recovery is any slower, Maroons coach Kevin Walters faces significant questions about his spine.
Ben Hunt would likely be asked to return to the halves alongside Cameron Munster, meaning Walters could have to keep the out-of-form Andrew McCullough at hooker.
It comes after the Maroons also lost potential dummy-half Jake Friend to a biceps rupture at the end of last week.
Meanwhile, the injury will also have significant ramifications for the sixth-placed Sea Eagles.
They are already without their other main attacking strike weapon in Tom Trbojevic until round 13, while hooker Apisai Koroisau also picked up a calf tweak on Sunday.
Hasler only called in Lachlan Croker to replace Kane Elgey on Sunday, but it now appears likely they could both be in the halves when the Sea Eagles host Canterbury on Saturday.