Things have gone from bad to worse for the Wests Tigers, with skipper Moses Mbye facing the possibility of his season being over.
NRL.com can reveal Mbye’s injury is more severe than originally feared, with the 25-year-old undergoing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to help speed up his recovery from the injury he suffered in the loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
The injury is expected to open the door for rookie young gun Tommy Talau, the son of former Canterbury centre Willie Talau, to make his NRL debut against Manly this Thursday.
Mbye tore his hip flexor while practicing goal-kicking in the warm-up against his old club and lasted just a few minutes into the game before succumbing to the injury.
The club is yet to make an official statement on Mbye's injury status but officials are hopeful he may be fit in time for the last game of the regular season against the Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval.
However the Tigers are also bracing themselves for the possibility of being without their captain for the rest of the season as they continue their finals quest.
Mbye, who had his blood taken on Monday, will have plasma injections on Tuesday – which happens to be his 26th birthday - in the hope of playing again this season.
The therapy uses injections of Mbye’s own platelets - designed to accelerate the healing of the injured muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Talau, who is expected to play in Mbye's absence on Thursday night, joined the club from the Bulldogs in the off-season having represented NSW under-18s and Australian Schoolboys.
Farah injures knee in first half against Bulldogs
He was upgraded from the club’s development squad to the top 30 prior to the June 30 cut-off.
Mbye’s injury is compounded by the fact the Tigers could also be without retiring hooker Robbie Farah for the rest of the regular season.
Farah suffered a fractured tibia in the loss to the Bulldogs and is racing the clock to play again.
Despite a plethora of injuries, NRL.com understands Josh Reynolds won’t return to the NRL side this week, but instead continue playing Canterbury Cup for the Magpies.