St George Illawarra star Josh Dugan could return to the No.1 jumper as soon as this week after scans on Monday cleared him of suffering serious damage to his hamstring.
The NSW State of Origin representative appeared headed for a stint on the sidelines after limping off in the second half of Sunday’s blowout NRL loss to Cronulla.
However the 25-year-old is now aiming to recover for Sunday’s clash with undefeated South Sydney at the SCG, where he could be immediately rushed back to fullback in place of the struggling Kurt Mann.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor strongly hinted at changes to his back three after a poor output over the opening fortnight of the season that has left them without a win.
Sunday’s back three of Mann, Peter Mata’utia and Jason Nightingale made a combined six errors against the Sharks, with Mann totalling four in two matches.
“We’ve put a lot of work into (Dugan’s move to centre) in the pre-season and it’s only two games into the competition,” McGregor said after the game.
“But he averaged 160 metres last year from the back and we’re certainly not getting that out of our back three at the moment. So we’ll look at that.
“I’ve also always said that Josh is one of the best, if not the best, defensive fullback in the game.”