After being initially diagnosed to only miss one to a few games, hooker James Segeyaro is possibly facing an ankle injury that will force him to miss the remainder of the National Rugby League season.
The Papua New Guinea native is the latest casualty to the late season misfortunes of Penrith as he had to leave the 23-22 triumph over the Cowboys on Monday night. The injury occurred when his foot was caught in an uneasy position after trying to offload during the 68th minute of the match. He fell down as he was tackled by Ashton Sims. He tried to play through the injury but had to be substituted as he was visibly limping.
According to NRL.com, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is optimistic that his ward will not be sidelined for long but is being realistic of the possibility of losing him for the season. The 23-year-old hooker will be undergoing scans to ascertain the depth of the damage to the ankle on Tuesday.
"[We're] not too sure. He broke an ankle quite badly a couple of years ago with the Cowboys. It might have something to do with that. Hopefully it's not too bad. But we're not going to know until tomorrow," Cleary said post-game.
His mentor is also weary that the injury is a recurrence of the same ankle he broke during his earlier days in Townsville. The Panthers are already currently missing the services of several players such as Peter Wallace, Tyrone Peachey, Elijah Taylor, Bryce Cartwright, and Isaac John who are all projected to return by 2015. In the event that the injury is severe, Cleary will rely on back-up Kevin Kingston to man the slot.
Segeyaro's injury comes at the most unfortunate time as the win over the Cowboys puts the squad at third place and guarantees them a spot in the finals. The squad will host Melbourne next on Monday in an important match that will determine the final cast of the top eight.