Beau Henry looks set to be handed an opportunity to play for his future with Gold Coast Titans five-eighth Aidan Sezer suffering a potentially season-ending pectoral injury in Friday night's 22-8 loss to the Broncos.
After William Zillman was helped from the field in the 19th minute with concussion and failed to return, the Titans were forced to play 50 minutes of the game with just 15 fit players when Sezer injured his pec in the 30th minute.
His right arm was flung violently backwards in attempting to make a tackle and coach John Cartwright said the initial diagnosis wasn't good.
"Aidan Sezer has done some sort of pec damage that doesn't look good," Cartwright said. "The doctors are probably fearing the worst for him so not sure what that entails time wise but he won't be there next week. 'Zilly' got a really bad knock to the head and didn't pass his [concussion] test so he wasn't able to come back."
Having been in doubt for much of the week with an ankle injury, Sezer's latest injury can carry with it six months of recovery although the full extent of the damage won't be known until after scans on Saturday.
South Sydney's Luke Keary suffered a pec injury at the Auckland Nines but is reportedly aiming for a comeback through NSW Cup next weekend, just over three months since suffering the injury.
If Sezer does make it back on the field in 2014 it will be towards the start of the finals series, leaving the fortunes of the side in the hands of Henry, a prodigiously talented junior who has struggled to nail down a permanent first grade spot.
Off contract at the end of 2014, Henry returned to playing a little over a month ago after undergoing a knee reconstruction in 2013. He was a late inclusion for injured halfback Albert Kelly against the Broncos and was left as the solitary playmaker once Sezer was injured.
"He played like the rest of them," was Cartwright's summation of his performance. "He rolled his sleeves up, he took over when he had to. It was a big ask to come in on short preparation and he did a good job."
Paul Carter, who was thrust into the halfback role for periods in the game once Sezer had left the field, played against Henry in the under-20s competition in 2010 and welcomed his influence under difficult circumstances on Friday night.
"Beauy Henry's a really good talker, really good at getting the troops around the field so it helped having him out there tonight," said Carter. "When Sezer went down it was definitely a big help to us having him out there because he adds a lot to our structure."
A teammate in the under-20s at the Bulldogs and someone who he has referred as being like a big brother, Carter backed Sezer to make a return to the field as soon as is possible, despite the initial disappointment.
"He's obviously a bit down at the moment but he's very professional so he'll get on top of his injury and be back as soon as possible," said Carter.
"We need a win next week. It's a massive game for us at home [against the Warriors] so we'll do our best to prepare for the game this week... We need a win at home for sure next week."
Zillman will be assessed midway through next week as to his availability but the Titans will get Ashley Harrison back, Albert Kelly will continue to be monitored and Brad Tighe, Maurice Blair and James Roberts will be looked at providing they get through their respective games in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend.