A knee injury to strike forward Sam Burgess could sink South Sydney’s NRL season even lower.
The Rabbitohs crashed to their sixth successive loss in Cairns on Sunday, a 20-0 defeat to premiers North Queensland.
Souths need to win seven of their last eight games if they are to avoid missing the finals for the first time under coach Michael Maguire, who moved to Redfern in 2012.
Making matters worse could be a knee injury to Burgess, who limped off Barlow Park late in Souths’ round 17 loss to the Cowboys.
Burgess will go for scans on his knee on Monday and if he faces any sort of time on the sidelines, the Rabbitohs’ slim finals hopes will be hit hard.
The dual international has endured an inconsistent season in his return from a year away in rugby union. He ran for 97m from 12 runs on Sunday and made 34 tackles.
The week prior in the loss to Penrith, he made 209m from 23 runs, 36 tackles and four offloads.
Either way Burgess remains a vital part of the Rabbitohs set-up and they can ill afford to be without him.
Coach Michael Maguire is doing his best to put a positive spin on the situation at Redfern.
“This club has been through a lot, well before I got here,” he said.
After the bye, Souths face Brisbane at ANZ Stadium after State of Origin III on Saturday week.
They then play Manly (home), Canberra (home), Melbourne (away), the Warriors (away), Cronulla (home), Newcastle (away) and Canterbury (away) in a testing end to the season.