NSW assistant coach Trent Barrett claims the expected loss of super-sub Kurt Gidley only adds to the adversity the Blues can use as motivation to finally end Queensland's State of Origin dominance.
While Knights teammate Danny Buderus is also in doubt for Origin I after re-injuring his Achilles in Monday's win over Penrith, Gidley's predicament appears far more dire.
He will visit a surgeon in coming days when it is expected he will be told his 2012 campaign is over after dislocating his shoulder for the second time this year.
The Newcastle skipper was considered one of few certainties in the Blues squad for Origin I in Melbourne on May 23, his unavailability leaving NSW in somewhat of a quandary.
''There's nothing else like him,'' Barrett said yesterday.
''Kurt Gidley's been one of NSW's best and most consistent players the last few years and he's going to be sorely missed if his shoulder's as bad as they're saying.
''You can't replace blokes like him.''
Gidley's absence only adds to the odds being stacked against the Blues, who have already given up one of their home games to what will be a pro-Queensland Etihad Stadium crowd.
Then there is the fact they are facing up to one of the greatest Origin squads of all time.
''Whatever happens, we can't be crying poor - we'll pick a good side and we've just got to find a way to win,'' Barrett said. ''It could be one of the finest wins the state's ever had, on the back of this and what's happened over the past six years - it's a great opportunity.''
Buderus was named to face the Sydney Roosters on Sunday, but his immediate future will be determined when the club receives the results of scans today.
He was still hobbling noticeably at the team's recovery session yesterday.
But while Buderus's status remains questionable, Canterbury coach Des Hasler did his best to clear up concerns regarding the health of incumbent NSW No.9 Michael Ennis.
This follows claims Ennis was playing injured as he struggled to overcome knee and shoulder injures he had surgically-repaired during the off-season.
''He's just about right now - he had a pretty ordinary off-season,'' Hasler said.
''He played 80 minutes last week and now he's got to keep plugging away and keep working at staying positive.''
Asked if he thought Ennis was out of the frame for a NSW berth - with Buderus, Robbie Farah and Ryan Hinchcliffe the other contenders - Hasler said: ''I know that Ricky [NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart] has had a number of meetings with different players and Michael has been included in that.
''I think Michael is still part of the Origin plans and I think Sticky's been doing an outstanding job in trying to keep that all together,'' Hasler said. AAP