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Warriors five-eighth Kodi Nikorima.

The Warriors face the prospect of kicking off the season without three frontline players who were injured in last Sunday's trial loss to Wests Tigers, although playmaker Kodi Nikorima appears to have dodged a bullet with his troublesome ankle.

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (foot), prop Agnatius Paasi (ankle) and starting back-row option Josh Curran (calf) all left the field in Rotorua and it's unclear whether they will recover in time to face the Knights on March 14.

Nikorima also left the game having hurt the same ankle he sprained last year, but coach Stephen Kearney expects he will be fine for round one.      

"Kodi had Tuesday off but I don’t anticipate that being an issue," Kearney told

"I don’t think it's as serious as what he had last year.

"We have a few guys – Roger, Agnatius and Josh Curran – who haven’t trained, who probably won't run this week.

"If we feel it is going to be a risk [to play them in round one], we won't be taking that risk.

Soward's Say: 2020 Warriors

"I think if you are asking for a patient to give himself every opportunity to be fit then Roger is certainly going to do that.

"We got some of the scan reports which came back pretty good, but we have just got to see how he progresses over the next 3-4 days."

The Warriors' injury list is already lengthy, with props Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei out for the season with knee injuries and established players Jazz Tevaga (ankle) and Gerard Beale (knee) set to miss at least the first month as they recover from surgery.

But of main concern will be the health of Tuivasa-Sheck, whose importance to the side was further underlined in the loss to the Tigers.  

The Kiwi international left the field just after half-time and the Warriors' attack fell apart in his absence. They also leaked 14 unanswered points during that period.

But Kearney denied the 2020 game plan relies too heavily on RTS.

"I wasn't too concerned [about how it looked without Roger]. What I was probably more concerned about was that we didn't build enough pressure," Kearney said.

"When we gained some ascendancy, we couldn't go on with it, and that's an area we looked at as needing to make a couple of improvements and adjustments.

Match Highlights: Warriors v Wests Tigers

"We all know that Roger is such an attacking asset to the footy team. But if Roger isn't there we will make do and find another way."

Meanwhile, Kearney also confirmed talks about veteran forward Adam Blair's future with the club have been put on the backburner to allow him to focus on the start of the new season.

Blair, 33, has an option in his favour to remain in Auckland and play into his 16th season in 2021.

"Adam's had a pretty big [few months] in terms of being involved with the Kiwis and in the All Stars game just recently," Kearney said.

"So we haven't had any discussions or anything with Adam, but I'm sure in due course we will sit down and look at the options."

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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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