Josh Dugan’s State of Origin series could be over before it begins after he was ruled out for a month due to an elbow injury on Monday.
Dugan aggravated the injury at Blues training on Saturday and was forced out of the side for the Origin opener in Sydney on Wednesday.
It was revealed on Monday the problem will also sideline him for Origin II.
Dugan will have surgery on the injury this week and will not be available again for his NRL outfit St George Illawarra until round 17, the same day, July 4, that Blues coach Laurie Daley will name his side for Origin III.
The NSW centre hyper-extended his left elbow in the Dragons’ loss to South Sydney two weeks ago. Initial scans suggested the injury was not serious and Dugan was considered fit for the Blues for the Origin opener in Sydney on Wednesday.
However Dugan was ruled out of Origin I on Sunday, with Josh Morris drafted in.
Dugan underwent further scans on Monday and Dragons medico Tony Ayoub said the results revealed surgery was required on the troublesome joint.
“Unfortunately, while training with the Blues on Saturday Josh aggravated the injury and his elbow has since become locked due to the fragments that are floating in his joint,” Ayoub said.
“After further scans we believe the best course of action for Josh will be to remove the fragments via an arthroscope.
“This will give him the best opportunity to complete the season without further exacerbating his elbow.
“He will have the surgery immediately and is expected to be sidelined for the next four weeks.”
The Dragons have the bye this weekend. They meet Manly in round 17 at Brookvale Oval.