Titans utility ruled out for season
Titans utility Karl Lawton has been booked in for surgery to repair the damage caused by a dislocated shoulder earlier in the season and will miss the remainder of the 2017 campaign.
Lawton, who just last month re-signed for a further three years with the club, suffered the initial injury against the Knights in Round 2 but after missing just a week he re-injured it again in Round 14 against the Warriors before making a return in Sunday's loss to the Wests Tigers.
The 21-year-old played just 12 minutes in the 26-4 loss but after pulling up sore on Monday and with the Titans' finals hopes gone the decision was made to book him in for surgery so that he can do the majority of the pre-season heading into 2018.
"We need to get him fixed," Gold Coast coach Neil Henry said ahead of Saturday's encounter with the Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium.
"He pulled up a bit sore after the game so he won't be named in the 21. Then we'll have a look at Pat Politoni or maybe Tyrone Roberts to fill in around the hooker's role as well.
"We thought with the depth of our squad being a bit thin that we'd get him right and see if he could play. He was brave in the last game against the Wests Tigers but he still jarred it and it pulled up a bit sore.
"He's signed here for the next few years so he needs to get a pre-season in so he'll go for surgery."
Lawton has been plagued by injuries already in his young career, battling groin problems in the under-20s and then breaking his leg early in the second half of his NRL debut against the Warriors last year.
Seen as a valuable utility who can play anywhere from centre to the halves and the back row, Lawton was used predominantly as a hooker this season, his speed off the mark and upper body strength making him a dangerous runner out of dummy-half in the 11 games he played.
In Lawton's absence the Titans are likely to turn to Tyrone Roberts to again fill the utility role off the bench with Jarryd Hayne to resume his place at fullback and Kane Elgey to partner Ash Taylor in the halves.