Much of the focus in the wake of the Titans' two-point loss to the Knights last Sunday fell on the poor kicking game of Daniel Mortimer in the closing stages but it has been revealed that he played the majority of the game with a significant wrist injury.
As Dylan Walker battled on for the Rabbitohs in Sydney with a broken hand, Mortimer made 35 tackles – and missed just one – and had a leading hand in the try that put his side in front with 17 minutes to play with a wrist injury that could keep him out for a month.
Kane Elgey will start at halfback for the Titans against the Sharks in his NRL debut on Saturday evening but the Titans' medical and coaching staff have paid tribute to the effort of Mortimer to play through the pain on Sunday.
"He's sustained a pretty nasty injury, it was actually a really good effort to get through the game," club physiotherapist Greg Condon told Titans TV.
"He sustained a significant ligament injury to the back of his wrist so at this stage he looks like he'll be missing probably the next two or three games."
A social media campaign calling for Elgey's inclusion for Mortimer was started by Titans fans in the wake of the loss to Newcastle but coach Neil Henry was adamant that the 21-year-old would have had a longer wait on his hands if not for the injury to Mortimer.
"Kane was probably looking at a few more weeks in Queensland Cup," Henry said.
"Everyone seems to get quite excited when young players get an opportunity and they're quite quick to come down on players who had a bit of an off night.
"Daniel Mortimer actually injured his wrist early in the game and played the whole game with a small fracture so he was very brave and made a couple of big plays.
"Unfortunately [he had] a couple of poor kicks but that's how it goes but I was pretty happy with the other aspects of his game."
Off contract at the end of 2015, Elgey's sudden elevation could not have come at a better time as the club weighs up who should partner star recruit Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves next season.
While Mortimer is contracted until the end of the 2016 season, both Elgey and five-eighth Aidan Sezer are off contract at season's end and have already reportedly attracted interest from rival NRL clubs.
The reigning Holden Cup Player of the Year, Elgey scored two tries and kicked five goals in a man-of-the-match performance for Tweed Heads in the Intrust Super Cup last weekend.