Penrith coach Anthony Griffin is likely to be spared an agonising selection headache after rookie Te Maire Martin suffered a fractured shoulder in Sunday’s NRL loss to Cronulla.
Centre Waqa Blake also failed to finish the match after coming off early with a hip issue.
However Griffin’s biggest concern will be Martin, who landed heavily on his right shoulder after being felled by Sharks winger Valentine Holmes late in the first half in The Shire.
The Panthers pair will undergo scans on Monday to determine the extent of their injuries, but are likely to be replaced by returning pair James Segeyaro and Dean Whare for next week’s clash with Canberra.
“Waqa’s a real bad hip pointer. So he just couldn’t get it right to get back out there today. Te Maire’s probably the main concern out of the two of them,” Griffin said.
Martin tried to stay positive after the match, but was disappointed to cop an injury just as he was beginning to feel settled in first grade.
“It’s not too bad right now. I can sort of move it around, but I’ve never had one before so we’ll see what it is,” he told AAP.
“I was just getting my body used to it. But if I can get the injuries out of the way now while I’m young, it’s just recovering now and going from there.”
Blake hurt his hip after a trysaving tackle on a runaway Andrew Fifita early in the match, and tried to play on before succumbing to the pain.
He got needled up at halftime in another attempt to come back on, but succumbed to the pain.
“I tried to stride out, but I just couldn’t run,” he said.
“It didn’t work so I went back in, tried to numb it up and tried to go again in the second half and it still hurt. We were just trying to keep it warm so that it didn’t seize up, but it didn’t want to go.”
Segeyaro’s return means in-form hooker Peter Wallace is also likely to be shifted back to the halves.
“The good thing is we’ve got a bit of depth around the halves and hooker area. One goes out, one comes in,” Martin said.