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Injured Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson.

The Canberra Raiders' horror injury toll this season continued on Saturday, with co-captain Josh Hodgson suffering a suspected broken thumb in his side's 22-16 loss to North Queensland.

The hooker did not take any part in the second half against the Cowboys, with his absence impacting the Raiders' attack which struggled to find cohesion for much of the game.

Hodgson left the ground with a plastic cast on his right thumb and coach Ricky Stuart was not optimistic about his immediate future.

"If it is what they think it is, it might be a bit of time out," Stuart said.

"We've put the work in to cover those things, it's been happening the last four weeks, so we've had to keep covering those positions with the guys who are substituting for them.

"That's not the excuse tonight with Hodgo going off, we weren't good enough.

"We had a week off and it's not good enough."

Match Highlights: Raiders v Cowboys

Hodgson's name has been added to the Raiders casualty ward which still includes John Bateman, Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana.

In a small boost on what was otherwise a disappointing night for Canberra, Joe Tapine returned with 34 minutes of action off the bench after being out with an ankle injury.

"It doesn't help your cause when you're losing your best players and tonight's no different in losing Josh," Stuart said.

"I hope it is only two or three (weeks out for Hodgson), I don’t know what the extent of it is going to be, but that's going to be Siliva's job [while he's out].

Canberra's Joe Tapine.
Canberra's Joe Tapine. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

"I don't see many positives out of that game we let ourselves down.

"We talk about the benchmark we set ourselves and improving and we went backwards tonight."

Canberra struggled to get back into the game after giving away the first four penalties of the game, with the defence especially out wide lacking the clinical nature that was the trademark of the Raiders' first two months of the season.

The green machine missed 40 tackles for the contest with a further 10 ineffective as the Cowboys exploited gaps out wide after working over the Raiders' middle.

The task of snapping their three-game losing streak does not get any easier next weekend in their clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs. Josh Papalii is likely to be missing for State of Origin duties and Jack Wighton is also a chance of being called up.

"It would be wonderful for Jack he deserves it as he's been one of our best players all season," Stuart said.

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