Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend said the Sharks' left edge has suffered a body blow, but not a knockout, after co-captain Wade Graham's season was ended by an ACL injury.
Graham, who suffered the injury early in his side's 21-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium, hasn't caught a break in 2018.
He spent eight games on the sidelines after suffering two hamstring injuries, a concussion, a broken cheekbone, an ongoing groin injury and now an ACL tear.
The second-rower's injury-plagued season has given the chance for the likes of Scott Sorensen and Kurt Capewell to build combinations with the veteran pack.
Townsend said that although Graham can't be replaced he is confident Sorensen, in particular, would be able to do repeat the job he did on several occasions throughout the season.
"It's going to be a huge loss for us. He's a big part of our game," Townsend said.
"He's very skillful on that left edge, he can ball play and also run a few hard lines and has been doing a tremendous job with our kicking game as well – he's a huge asset to our team.
"Unfortunately, Wade has missed a fair bit of the season this year and we've had younger guys step up like Kurt Capewell and Scott Sorensen who've come in and done a tremendous job in his absence.
"We never want to see a teammate go down but very proud of the way Scott's handled himself throughout the season. He's taken his chances and really ran with it in whatever position he's been playing.
"He [Sorensen] has been sort of our Mr Fix-it guy on the edge, when we've had a few injuries or when Lewis or Wade need a breather, and he's come in and done an exceptional job."
As a result of the Sharks loss to the Roosters, they will face the Penrith Panthers in a sudden-death match on Friday.
In their last two meetings this season the Sharks have come away victorious. Townsend said formesr Panther Moylan was a key contributor.
Townsend said the side will be looking to Moylan for another big game again his old club.
"I'm really enjoying my time playing with Moyza. I feel like the last month we've really hit our straps in terms of combination," Townsend said.
"The last time we played against Penrith out there he probably had his best game for the season - we'll be looking for that type of game from him next week.
"But I don't think that it's just him [that needs to step up] I think it's our whole team. It's the business end of the season and we don't rely on one player, it's a 17-man effort and you really do need every single one of your team members to step up and play their best game to get a win."
Panthers skipper James Maloney was a standout for Penrith in their 27-12 victory over the Warriors on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.
Townsend said he's eager for the battle against the NSW Blues playmaker.
"Always love playing against Jimmy," Townsend said.
"I played with him for a few years obviously and know his game really well so I'm looking forward to that battle.
"They're going to be off the back of a confident win tonight so it's going to be a tough game - I'm looking forward to it."