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Josh Dugan celebrates his 29th birthday during Magic Round and he probably wishes he had a little more of the mystical world on his side when it comes to niggling injuries.

But for the present he's doing extras, like acupuncture and massage, outside of the regular physio and sports medicine treatments the Sharks coaching staff do for him each week.

Dugan has never had a long-term injury like an ACL, shoulder dislocation, syndesmosis operation or pectoral tear.

But in showing no fear in football collisions, his body has had trouble at times picking up the slack. Ankles, elbows, knees, ribs have copped their fair share.

He withdrew minutes before the Sharks-Broncos game in round seven with a hamstring twinge.

"I've been playing with a back injury since the Cowboys game (round three). Before the Broncos game I was getting two or three pain-killing injections through the week to play," Dugan said.

Get Caught Up: Round 8

"I didn't get one in the lead-up to the Broncos and in the warm-up I felt my hammy a bit. It was getting tighter over the last few weeks but hadn’t grabbed like that.

"I spoke to the physios and they made the decision to pull me out. Looking back on it now, with Shaun Johnson tearing his hammy and being out for four to six weeks, I probably could have played with it but was it worth the risk?

"Got a scan and found out there was no tear, I’ve just got a little protrusion in one of my discs, bulging a little."

And it's his body failing on him at times that has been frustrating for the former Test and Origin centre.

"You ask any NRL player at this time of the year, nine games in, and they're all going to have niggles. It’s a high-impact sport," Dugan said.

"It's one of those things where you can't avoid impact and unfortunately I cop a fair share of impact and whatnot, but I manage it and I've been able to play.

"Thankfully, touch wood, there's been no serious injuries so far and hopefully it stays that way, I find some consistency, and get back to playing good footy."

Dugan has played seven of the eight rounds, scored three tries, made four line breaks and 32 tackle busts. But he has amassed those good figures over three positions – centre, wing and fullback.

"I look at it two ways. It's a good ability to have to be able to play a few positions like that, but at the same time I feel like it's sort of curse," Dugan said of his versatility.

"It's hard to wrap your mind around different positions week to week and get consistency. So that's the only thing I struggle with.

Match Highlights: Sharks v Storm

"Once I do get my head around it it's just another game for me. I go out there and do what I'm supposed to do."

The high expectations placed on Dugan means he's an easy target for fans when he doesn't meet them. He admits his first half against the Storm had a few errors.

"I'm not one to dwell on errors too much," Dugan said.

"I've played enough footy to know that if you dwell on them for a couple of minutes, that's a couple of minutes of the game gone that you’re not involved in – you lose that and you don’t get it back.

"I just tried to flush it as quickly as I could and get back to doing what I could for the team.

Tackle of the week: Round 8

"To be honest I don't read papers, I don't watch the news, or watch too much footy. Anytime someone comes onto my social media with anything negative to say I block and delete them anyway.

"I avoid that side of it pretty well now. I don't worry about it too much.

"If it was easy [playing NRL], everyone would be doing it. I'll stay in my little bubble and work out what I've got to do to be right for the team. At the moment I'm pretty happy with how I’m going."

He is also happy he's raised $2,000 for the children's charity Bear Cottage in the lead-up to having his mullet shaved off on May 24.

"I think I will miss it. The missus won’t," Dugan said of his mop.

"Hopefully we get around $5,000 with three weeks left. Everything – the links – are on my social media, my Twitter and Instagram."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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