Cronulla will be forced to dig into halves reserves this week after star Shaun Johnson suffered a suspected ruptured Achilles that will end his NRL season.
Cronulla fullback Josh Dugan has angrily hit back at suggestions he is faking problems with his knee.
The NSW and Test representative is one of the highest-paid at the Sharks and into the final year of his contract with the club, which is reportedly worth $975,000.
However, issues with his knee have cast doubt over his playing future with reports claiming the Sharks’ physios cannot find any issues with the 29-year-old – something he vehemently denies.
It has also been claimed the former Canberra and St George Illawarra star is trying to secure an insurance payout that will allow him to walk away from the NRL.
“All I’m saying is if I’ve been cleared to train, why am I seeing two different surgeons next week?” Dugan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The MRIs also haven’t come back clean – they show chronic arthritis and inflammation of the bone and joint.”
Dugan has been told he can leave the Sharks for another club but insists there is little he can do until he has been given the all-clear by surgeons.
“There’s been little communication since I was told I could look elsewhere and I’ve gone off the advice of the physio and doctor, so I’ll keep doing that,” Dugan said.
“I’d like clarity around it too. It’s frustrating me more than anyone and hopefully I get that next week … that’s all I have to say about the issue.”