Sydney Roosters could be without Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for next year's World Club Challenge after the star winger suffered a suspected broken leg in the World Cup final.
The newly-crowned international winger of the year limped off the field just seven minutes into New Zealand's 34-2 loss to Australia in Saturday's final at Old Trafford.
Tuivasa-Sheck injured the same leg he hurt in last week's semi-final win over England but, worryingly, heard a crack as he went down against the Kangaroos.
The 20-year-old will be sent for scans in the coming days and if they reveal a fracture he could face several months of recovery.
That would place Tuivasa-Sheck in doubt for the premiers' showdown with Wigan in Sydney on February 22, along with the start of the NRL season.
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney admitted "it doesn't look good" for the winger but denied there was a risk in letting him play.
"We did all the relevant tests at the front end of the week and there was nothing wrong with him there," Kearney said.
"But in his first carry he heard a crack, which is pretty unfortunate."
Tuivasa-Sheck said he knew immediately he wouldn't be able to carry on and was devastated that his World Cup dream was cut short.
"You build up for about two months for this," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"This is the game where you want to put it all out there, it was a big disappointment.
"I'm back in the [protective] boot again and had to fight the physio to keep the crutches away.
"Well see how it is on Monday and go from there."
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