He started the year in reserve grade, now Canterbury young gun Moses Mbye will be relied upon to lead them into the NRL finals.
Halfback Trent Hodkinson will get scans on Sunday after going down with a wrist injury in the first half of Saturday night’s 20-18 win over Newcastle.
The NSW No.7 immediately came from the field and didn’t return, however Bulldogs coach Des Hasler downplayed the incident post-game.
“We didn’t want to risk him – that’s why he didn’t come back on in the second half,” he said.
“There’s always the option of resting him next week. We’ll wait and see how he comes up.
“He’ll have scans when we get back to Sydney and we’ll take it from there.”
Utility Josh Reynolds is expected to be back from a knee injury, as well as a two-game ban for dangerous contact.
However, the former Blues pivot hasn’t played since round 20.
With just one game to go until the finals, the onus will now be on the 22-year-old Mbye to ensure the Bulldogs enter September on a winning note.
Mbye took the reins after Hodkinson’s injury, but Hasler said there were areas that the third-year playmaker could improve on for next week’s clash against the Warriors.
“He’ll probably be a little bit disappointed that his kicking game at the end of the sets there, the options on it,” he said.
“He can work on that. We’ve got time to work on that.”
Veteran winger Sam Perrett was hopeful at least one of Hodkinson or Reynolds would return but was confident should Mbye be left to direct the team as a lone playmaker.
“Hopefully we’ll have at least one of them back to run with,” he said.
“It’s not going to be easy. You always want as much firepower out there as you can, and your halves are a key role.
“If not, between (Josh Jackson) filling in there today and Moey, I think we can still do some decent damage.”