The Canberra Raiders could be forced to go to the market to help cover Sia Soliola's potentially season-ending surgery.
They're facing a mounting injury toll in the forwards with the Green Machine holding their breath ahead of Soliola's visit to the surgeon on Monday.
Along with Soliola, they're also without Corey Horsburgh (foot), Emre Guler (ankle) and John Bateman (shoulder), while Luke Bateman and JJ Collins have been released this season due to the coronavirus's impact on player wages.
They do have Dunamis Lui to come straight in, but Raiders coach Ricky Stuart might have to turn to Kai O'Donnell or Darby Medlyn to make their NRL debuts.
O'Donnell has been named on the Raiders' extended bench several times this season, but was yet to play.
The other option is to go to the market to find a replacement.
Canberra has been linked to North Queensland forward John Asiata, but Raiders recruitment boss Peter Mulholland ruled him out.
The Raiders are in the process of applying for salary cap relief for John Bateman under the NRL's "Josh Hodgson rule" because he was injured playing for Great Britain last year.
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Soliola rushed to hospital during the Raiders' gritty victory over St George Illawarra after a head clash with Dragons prop Blake Lawrie.
It fractured the palate area of his face and he has to wait for the swelling to go down before he can under the knife.
How long he will be out for will become clearer when he sees the surgeon, but he's facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines and could potentially be out for the rest of the 2020 NRL season like fellow middle Horsburgh.
Soliola took to social media to thank all the well wishes, while also revealing the extent of the fracture with his X-ray.
"At least my teeth are in tact, " he joked in an Instagram post, while also adding: "Thank you everyone for the encouraging messages.
"I see you all and appreciate your love and support. I'm trying my best to smile."
The Raiders are hoping for better news with Emre Guler, who came off with an ankle injury in the win over the Dragons.
They're hopeful it's not a syndesmosis injury and he might only be out for 2-4 weeks rather than double that.
He'll go for scans on Monday to determine the full extent of the injury.
Raiders halfback George Williams backed whoever comes in to get the job done against an imposing Melbourne Storm pack.
They boast New Zealand internationals Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona, as well as young big bopper Tino Faasuamaleaui.
Williams felt the Raiders' versatility would also help, with their second-rowers Elliott Whitehead, Joe Tapine and Hudson Young all able to play through the middle if required.
"We've obviously got 'Nams' there, who's been unlucky to miss out the last few weeks," Williams said.
"Corey Horsburgh's injured too so we've got a couple of injuries there through the middle.
"But we've got a great depth in our squad - some young lads that can really step up.
"Hudson can step into the middle if we need it. [Whitehead]'s the same. I'm not the coach, I don't know too much, but I'm sure whoever comes in will do a great job.
"[O'Donnell]'s been great in training so if he gets the call I'll back him 100 per cent to do the job."
NRL ROUND NINE
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm at Canberra Stadium, 7.35pm.