The Brisbane Broncos have suffered a blow to their premiership aspirations with the news that prop Korbin Sims will miss the rest of the season with a fractured arm.
The injury occurred in the second half of Brisbane's 52-34 loss to the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night, and although it was initially thought his harm had just suffered a deep muscle bruise scans on Friday revealed a fracture to his ulna bone.
The 25-year-old's recovery time is six weeks meaning that even if the Broncos go on a run to the grand final, he would still be a week away from returning.
Brisbane's high performance manager Jeremy Hickmans spoke to Broncos.com.au about the injury.
"Unfortunately it is not good news on Korbin and the scans have found a fracture," Hickmans said.
"He will be operated on today and with the six-week recovery required for this injury, which effectively rules him out for the rest of the season."
Sims's injury leaves the door open for one of Brisbane's young forwards to take the step up and start against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 26.
Newcastle-bound Herman Ese'ese is the leading contender after having already started in eight matches this year.
Ese'ese has come along in leaps and bounds this year and he was good again against the Eels in Round 25 – scoring his first NRL try.
Speaking to NRL.com, Ese'ese said he had been happy with his form since returning from a knee injury in Round 22.
"My knee is sweet now. I'm feeling a lot more confident and that's a credit to the medical staff here," Ese'ese said.
"I'm enjoying my football. I just run hard and tackle hard because that's all Wayne (coach Wayne Bennett) wants me to do.
"We've been bringing impact off the bench, but I believe I can do my job starting if that's what they need me to do."
Although the loss of Sims will hurt the Broncos, the injury news is not all bad.
Brisbane will welcome the return of enforcer Tevita Pangai Junior for the Cowboys clash, with the 21-year-old's hamstring benefiting greatly from the week off.
The Broncos will also bring Joe Ofahengaue back into the side to face North Queensland after three weeks out of the game.
Ofahengaue was suspended for a dangerous tackle in his side's 54-point win over the Gold Coast Titans in Round 22 and he is champing at the bit to get back out on the paddock and make it up to his teammates.