Canberra Raiders prop Corey Horsburgh's injury woes have continued, having undergone a shoulder reconstruction similar to what Bailey Simonsson underwent last year.
Horsburgh was expected to be fit for round one, but will only return to contact training in January.
It means he might miss the Raiders' pre-season trials as his injury struggles continue.
The 23-year-old missed almost three months this season due to a dislocated wrist, as well as the opening six rounds due to a foot injury he suffered last year.
That foot injury meant he only played six games in 2020 after bursting onto the NRL scene the previous year.
Horsburgh injured his shoulder in the final game of the season - the 40-16 loss to the Sydney Roosters in Mackay.
He injured it returning the kick-off after half-time, charging into Josh Morris and Matt Ikuvalu.
The fiery redhead stayed down clutching his shoulder and was unable to finish the game.
It's a similar injury to what ended Raiders winger Simonsson's 2020 season when he hurt his shoulder against the Melbourne Storm in round nine.
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The cruel injury run has meant Horsburgh's played just 16 games over the past two seasons - including two on loan for the Canterbury Bulldogs.
"He'll be OK, he'll be in full contact after Christmas," Raiders recruitment boss Peter Mulholland said.
"He's had a few setbacks the kid. He's had a hard time of it.
"The injuries he's got are collision injuries and you can't legislate against that.
"It's like anything, you have a breakout season and then you follow that with a season of injuries it's not going to do your development any good. He's just been unlucky with that."
Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker has been booked in for surgery on his chronic knee problem, which forced him to miss a large chunk of the 2021 NRL season.
He had two rounds of platelet rich plasma injections during the year and will now undergo stem cell treatment on October 6 in a bid to prolong his career.
Croker will hopefully resume running in mid January in a bid to add to his 291 NRL games.
Fellow co-captain Elliott Whitehead had surgery on a minor elbow problem on Thursday, but it's not expected to impact his pre-season.
Mulholland said Whitehead could bolster their experience in the middle forwards with Ryan James, Dunamis Lui and Sia Soliola all potentially moving on.
"As he gets a bit older [Whitehead's] got the capacity to play both slots [middle and second row] so it's really good for the club," he said.
Meanwhile, Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson was one of four nominations for the Dennis Tutty Award, which recognises "outstanding leadership" and "dedication to his fellow players".
Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans, Moses Mbye, Dale Copley and Christian Welch were the other nominees, with the winner announced on September 19.
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