Rugby League

NRL: Canberra Raiders hooker Adam Clydsdale to miss up to three games with shoulder injury

Canberra Raiders hooker Adam Clydsdale will miss up to the opening three rounds of the NRL season with a shoulder injury after scans cleared him of any serious damage.

The results are better than first thought when Clydsdale left the field during the Raiders' 34-28 trial win against the Newcastle Knights in Orange last weekend.

On the sidelines: Raiders hooker Adam Clydsdale will miss up to the first three rounds with a shoulder injury.
On the sidelines: Raiders hooker Adam Clydsdale will miss up to the first three rounds with a shoulder injury. Photo: Jay Cronan

There was also good news for winger Sisa Waqa and prop Shannon Boyd, both of whom will be available for the Raiders' season-opener against the Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium.

Both players sustained neck injuries in the trial game, but should be right to face the Panthers in round one.

Clydsdale is expected to miss between two to three games, meaning he could be available to make his Raiders debut in the round three clash against his old side, the Knights, at Hunter Stadium.

The 23-year-old played 40 games for the Knights during the past three seasons, but joined the Raiders for more opportunities in first grade.

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Clydsdale's injury will open the door for Kurt Baptiste to retain the bench utility spot for the first game on March 5.

Baptiste performed admirably as the back-up hooker to English international Josh Hodgson last season.

Under-20s star Lachlan Croker is another option for the No.14 jersey, but is expected to start the year in the National Youth Competition.

Meanwhile, Joe Tapine will join his new teammates in Canberra for the first time on Thursday.

Tapine has secured an early release from his contract with the Knights to allow him to join the Raiders this season.

The 21-year-old back-rower was set to spend the season in the NSW Cup with the Knights after he signed a three-year deal worth a reported $1.5 million with the Raiders which was to begin in 2017.

Tapine also has a reported player option in his favour for the 2020 season.