The Warriors’ NRL playoff hopes have taken hit with star halfback Shaun Johnson’s season-ending ankle injury.
Coach Andrew McFadden confirmed the seriousness of Johnson’s injury after his side’s 32-12 defeat to Manly in Auckland on Saturday.
The playmaker limped off in the 25th minute after another typical piece of magic, skipping past three defenders to score his side’s opening try.
But in reaching out to put down, he got his left ankle trapped.
McFadden said the Warriors did well to hang on and go into half-time level at 6-6.
But he said Johnson’s loss was a blow as his side failed to match the energy the Sea Eagles showed in the second half.
The 24-year-old Johnson, the Golden Boot winner last year as league’s best player, had shown some sublime form in recent weeks.
When he went off, utility Tuimoala Lolohea moved from centre to take his role.
McFadden said the Warriors had options as who would wear the No.7 jersey over the remainder of the campaign.
“We’ll wait and see during the week,” he said.
“We’ll come up with a plan and we’ll definitely bounce back from that.”
Manly coach Geoff Toovey described the absence of Johnson as “massive” for the Warriors.
But he believed they could still make the finals.
“I think they can,” he said.
“He will be a definite loss for them, but I have no doubt they will be a team that will be in the mix.”