The NZ Warriors have been dealt a massive blow ahead of the NRL season with experienced prop Leeson Ah Mau out for fourth months with a pectoral injury.
Scans confirmed the 30-year-old ruptured his pectoral muscle during a training session on Friday in Tamworth.
Ah Mau will stay in Australia for an operation later this week before returning to New Zealand
The injury is a cruel blow to the Warriors, who are already without props Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei for the season.
That leaves the Warriors with Agnatious Paasi, Lachlan Burr, rookie Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and uncapped duo Tom Ale and Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard as the club's only fit props, meaning the likes of Adam Blair, Josh Curran and Jazz Tevaga will play some minutes in the middle this season.
Ah Mau is the Warriors' most experienced prop, and was the only player to feature in all 24 games last season. He was nominated for the Simon Mannering Medal, which won by captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The Warriors get their season back underway on May 30 when they face the St George Illawarra Dragons with a venue still to be determined.
The Warriors were in last place when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.