The Panthers have been dealt a huge off-season blow with powerhouse winger Josh Mansour suffering a serious knee injury.
Mansour suffered an ACL injury in a training session with the Kangaroos in England.
He left the training field in significant pain and scans later confirmed the worst, ruling him out of the rest of the Four Nations and most likely the start of the NRL season.
“It’s obviously shattering news for Josh,” Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said.
“He has been a popular member of the squad and was excellent for us against Scotland last Friday.”
The Kangaroos will now get in touch with the Panthers to discuss how best to manage the early stages of Mansour’s injury.
Mansour reportedly suffered the injury after a collision with Josh Dugan during a game of touch football.
It’s the news Panthers coach Anthony Griffin was fearing with three of his top players away in England with the Kangaroos – Mansour, Matt Moylan and Trent Merrin.
The Panthers have already been dealt an off-season injury blow with hooker Peter Wallace suffering a hand injury in a rock fishing accident, resulting in surgery.
Wallace will be fit to start the season next March but Mansour may not return until April or May.
It’s likely to create a re-shuffled Penrith backline with Peta Hiku potentially moving to the wing, opening up a starting centre spot for Waqa Blake.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.