South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds could be missing for up to a month after he suffered an injury to his right shoulder in New South Wales' 26-16 loss to Queensland in Origin II on Wednesday night.
Reynolds came from the field 16 minutes from full-time nursing his right arm with Blues coach Laurie Daley expecting that his No.7 would be unavailable to play in Game Three of the 2016 Holden State of Origin Series on July 13 back in Sydney.
Reynolds will have scans on his shoulder when he returns to Sydney on Thursday but if the Blues' early diagnosis proves to be accurate the earliest he would be able to return would be in Round 19 against the Broncos by which time the Rabbitohs' semi-final hopes could already have evaporated.
Cautious about going into too much detail about the injury so soon after full-time, Daley was quite certain that it would be serious enough to necessitate a fourth different halves combination in three years for the Blues.
"Early reports are not looking great," Daley said.
"I don't think he'll be right for Game Three. I asked the doc quickly – and I don't want to say too much – but I don't think he'll be right for Game Three."
In a NSW performance that was as encouraging as it was exasperating for the errors that afforded a classy Queensland team enough opportunities to clinch the series, Daley's next challenge is to work out the 17-man combination he believes can break the Maroons' stranglehold in 2017.
Boyd Cordner, Josh Morris, Josh Dugan and Wade Graham should all be available for selection for Game Three but Daley was insistent that he will pick the strongest team he can in order to salvage something from the series.
"We're there to win. We'll be there to win Game Three," Daley said when asked whether he would usher in more debutants in Game Three.
"We're disappointed that we lost but there are huge positives for us. There are six guys that have made their debut this year, the guys all handled the occasions and while it's devastating that we lost there's still one more game to go and that's the key for us.
"All our young guys I thought played really well, the senior blokes played well. I can't fault the effort of our guys.
"They played for one another, which is what you want to see, in particular in a decider.
"Unfortunately our execution at times, we just couldn't get it done."