Canterbury hooker Michael Lichaa could be out for the rest of the NRL season after injuring his knee in the club’s season-opening win over Manly.
Lichaa, in his first game back since undergoing major ankle surgery last August, limped off midway through the second half against the Sea Eagles and went for scans on Saturday.
The Bulldogs are being coy on how long they will be without the 22-year-old, however best case scenario is that the former Cronulla rake will miss just one month.
“Fingers crossed it’s not too bad. He might miss a couple of weeks, but I really hope he pulls up alright,” prop David Klemmer said on Monday.
Former St George Illawarra rake Craig Garvey is certain to deputise for Lichaa in his absence, having moved from Wollongong to Belmore on a two-year deal over the summer.
Garvey, who was stood down by the Dragons in 2014 for committing assault, has played just 10 NRL games since making his debut in 2013 and has previously represented the NSW under-20s team.
Klemmer, who will return from his one-week suspension for his torpedo tackle against Melbourne in a trial, said the Bulldogs would miss Lichaa’s intelligent play around the ruck, as well as his workrate in defence.
“He’s going to be a big loss for us, but we’ve got Craig Garvey who can step up there. He’s a quality player,” he said.
Lichaa played the first 22 games in his first season under Des Hasler last year before a severe ankle injury in round 23 ruled him out of their finals campaign.
Previous back-up Damien Cook shone in his absence, however he has since moved to South Sydney.