Maroons' Cronk out of Origin II
Cooper Cronk will not play in Holden State of Origin II after scans on Monday confirmed he will miss at least the next three weeks.
The star halfback suffered a low-grade meniscus tear in his right knee in the 58th minute of Melbourne Storm's win over Penrith on Saturday night.
Melbourne had been confident it was just a jarred knee but a further examination has provided a less-than-ideal prognosis.
Cronk broke the news to Maroons coach Mal Meninga this morning.
It is devastating news for the 31-year-old, who kicked the game-winning field goal in Origin I to hand the Maroons a 1-0 series lead in Sydney.
He had also spoken of his excitement at playing State of Origin football in his adopted state at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Instead he is now resided to an injury-plagued Origin campaign for the second straight year.
Cronk was also forced to miss last year's Game II with a shoulder injury, watching on painfully as NSW regained the shield for the first time in nine years.
Daly Cherry-Evans was his replacement that night and will likely be again, now that the Manly halfback looks to have overcome the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the series opener last month.
A huge crowd is expected to pack out the iconic MCG in a game that will still feature Melbourne stars Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.
A Maroons victory on June 17 would return the shield north for the ninth time in ten years.
To read more about the injury, visit melbournestorm.com.au