The Dragons are hopeful Gareth Widdop has not played his last game for the club amid fears he will need season-ending shoulder surgery.
St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop could spend six months or more on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder for the third time in less than 12 months in the dying stages of Thursday night's win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Dragons officials are hopeful he may be able to avoid going under the knife again but they face a nervous wait until the injury is fully assessed.
A quicker-than-expected recovery could result in him playing again this season even if he needs an operation.
Widdop and his teammates were due to fly back to Sydney on Friday afternoon and the skipper will have scans to determine the extent of the damage.
"Gareth suffered a dislocated shoulder in the second half against the Brisbane Broncos," Dragons head of athletic performance Nathan Pickworth said in a club statement on Friday.
"Upon our return to Sydney, he will have all the necessary scans to determine the best course of action."
Dragons coach Paul McGregor in the post-game media conference said young fullback Matt Dufty would return to the starting side while Widdop was out with Corey Norman and Ben Hunt to build on their new halves partnership.
"We have got a ready-made replacement in Dufty. You don't ever want to see your captain and your playmaker, who has been the best player at the club for a number of years, laying on the bench with a dislocated shoulder," he said.
"It is sad and it is part of the game we don't enjoy, but we have got young Duft who played our whole season last year at fullback.
"Norman is a left-sided player with a left foot kick and we've got Hunty on the other side so we have a ready-made replacement there [at fullback]."