A possible ACL injury to in-form Manly lock Jamie Buhrer has cast a shadow over an amazing come-from-behind 26-25 win at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey said while the club would know more after scans, the initial prognosis wasn't good.
"I don't want to say too much but Jamie looks like he's done his ACL so I think he may be out [for the season]," Toovey said after the game.
"We've got to have some scans done tomorrow but the initial diagnosis is not great. He's pretty upset about the whole thing and rightfully so, he's been playing some good football for us but we'll know more tomorrow. They are the initial concerns."
It would be a big blow to Manly with Buhrer filling in admirably for long-term absentee lock Glenn Stewart, who played what turned out to be his last game for the club in a Round 8 win over Canberra when he injured his ankle.
The loss of Buhrer made Manly's late comeback – with two tries in the final three minutes resulting in an unlikely one-point win – even more remarkable given 80-minute hooker Matt Ballin didn't take the field in the second half, and Buhrer had been filling in at dummy-half before he went off in the 71st minute.
"Matty Ballin's got a bit of a cork, I think he'll be OK," Toovey said. "Again we'll have to wait and see tomorrow but Jamie Buhrer is the main concern."
The two injuries completed a poor day for players who had yet to miss a game for Manly before Sunday – Ballin and Buhrer had lined up in all 23 games for the club in 2013, while prop Brenton Lawrence had played all 22 for the club before pulling out of the Penrith match with a knee injury.
Toovey's other concern from the match was centre Steve Matai being placed on report for a shoulder charge, but the coach seemed unconcerned his left-edge attacking weapon would miss game time.
"That's just ridiculous, we saw the arms come up in the tackle," Toovey fumed when asked about the incident.
"Matt Ballin gets taken out in back play and nothing happens. I don't understand. I'm not saying anything about the referees, it's the video ref who had a view of all of it and they still come up with that decision, I don't understand."
However Toovey still managed to find the lighter side of it.
"I'm sure they'll apologise maybe on Monday," he finished with a laugh.