Warriors coach Nathan Brown fears star prop Addin Fonua-Blake will miss a lengthy chunk of the NRL season after suffering a suspected lisfranc injury in their 24-18 loss to St George Illawarra.
The blow from Saturday's match could not have come at a worst time for the Warriors, who released fellow front-rower Matt Lodge earlier this week.
Fonua-Blake is likely to miss more than three months if scans show he has sustained the suspected injury. Brown said he would go for further assessment in the coming days.
"I'm not sure on Addin's foot at the moment," Brown said.
"It's possibly a lisfranc which isn't great. He's our best player - along with Tohu Harris - and you want your best players playing."
Depending on the severity of the injury, it could rule Fonua-Blake out of Tonga's Rugby League World Cup campaign.
The loss of Fonua-Blake would be a hammer blow for the Warriors' finals hopes with the club having won just one game in their last five.
The Warriors offloaded Lodge earlier this week because they claimed he didn't want to sign a new deal and return to New Zealand next year.
Currently based in Queensland, the Warriors won't be based in New Zealand again until the 2023 pre-season starts, meaning Lodge has walked out on the club despite having more than six months to run on his current deal.
Brown said it was the prop who raised the topic, despite having no club to go to.
"It was Tuesday night when Lodgey sent me a message that he wouldn't be playing, which was a nice show of respect," Brown said.
"We knew moving back to New Zealand (next year) wasn't something he wanted to do. He was very consistent for us this year.
"Lodgey was more keen the other way, he wished all the boys well and he built up a good relationship with the boys and you shake hands and move on."
Australian Associated Press
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