NZ Warriors centre Gerard Beale will stay in Sydney for surgery, after a sickening left knee injury during their 42-6 defeat to the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
Eight minutes into the contest at the Sydney Cricket Ground, centre Beale was taken from the field on a medicab in clear discomfort, after colliding with Roosters prop and fellow Kiwis international Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Replays showed knee-on-knee contact and unfortunately for Beale, he came off second best.
The 29-year-old was taken straight to hospital, with initial reports suggesting a fractured kneecap - an injury that could see him sidelined between 4-8 months.
During the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, Beale broke the tibia and fibula in his left leg, which saw him miss nearly seven months of football.
"It looks like he's got a fracture of his kneecap," Kearney said. "One part went north and the other part went south, so it's not a nice injury for him.
"The recommendation is that he stays here to have surgery."
At the time, the Warriors were looking good, holding an early 6-0 lead, thanks to a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck try, but the injury forced a backline reshuffle.
Chanel Harris-Tavita moved into the centres, while Kodi Nikorima came off the bench to play halfback in his first game in a fortnight.
The Warriors also lost prop Agnatius Paasi to a head-injury assessment during the first half, while hooker Jazz Tevaga battled through the pain, after re-injuring his ankle.
The casualties added insult to injury, as the Roosters ran riot in the second half and the loss means the Warriors now only have a slim mathematical chance of finishing in the top eight for the second straight year.
"It was obviously challenging, when you lose an outside back to a pretty serious injury," Kearney added.
"We put together a good performance against Manly, and then obviously, today, we didn't look co-ordinated and had an injury that threw us out a bit.
"Even Jazz [Tevaga] had got a twist on his ankle again and he was out there under sufferance.
"It just didn't help anything for us, but we're staying over and our focus is on making sure we get ourselves up for a challenge next week at Shark Park.
"But we'll have to reassess some things tomorrow."
Kearney confirmed that hooker Issac Luke, wing David Fusitu'a and centre Patrick Herbert were all a chance of returning for Saturday's clash against the Sharks at Cronulla.
"I'll reassess that early this week," Kearney said. "We're getting a couple back this week.
"I think Issac Luke's available after suspension, David Fusitu'a's a chance [of returning from a hamstring injury].
"Patrick Herbert's had a couple of games [in Canterbury Cup, as he recovers from a hamstring strain], that might help our cause.
"But I'll assess it early in the week, and see what's best for the footy team and what's best for the game this week."
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