Former NZ Warriors halfback Blake Green will miss next week's reunion against his old club, after suffering a knee injury during Newcastle Knights' 12-0 win over North Queensland Cowboys.
Green, who left the Warriors earlier this month after being told he wasn't wanted for next season, stayed on the ground after an awkward tackle at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
Knights coach Adam O'Brien says Green has a suspected anterior cruciate ligament tear.
Green was playing just his third game for Newcastle, after being released by the Warriors on August 3.
His departure infuriated interim Warriors coach Todd Payten and that tension added to the hype over Saturday's game at Tamworth's Scully Park.
Payten said he was "disappointed" with Green's departure and said the 33-year-old "didn't want to be here".
Green revealed he was about to be dropped, so he wanted to move somewhere he could get game-time for the remainder of the season, but now his future is in doubt.
"I can't confirm it obviously," says O'Brien. "I'm not a doctor, but it's not looking good.
"He's shattered, I felt like crying with him. I'm getting used to it now though, having to do it a few times this year.
"It's not a normal win down there [in the dressing room] for them. It's pretty sombre.
"What he's done for us straight away - and he's certainly had a great season what he did with the Warriors - he had an impact with us," he says.
"I think he can overcome this and Andrew McCullough is in the same boat. He was outstanding for us, so both of those guys, if they choose to go that way, certainly offer a lot."
O'Brien is unsure who will partner Micthell Pearce in the halves on Saturday, although another former Warriors halfback, Mason Lino, is an option.
"I'm not too sure [about the spine]," says O'Brien. "I'm going to have a meeting with the coaches after this and see what we can do there.
"We've got some options with young Mason [Lino] and Tex [Hoy]. We'll see what we come up with."
Earlier this season, the Knights beat the Warriors 20-0, before the competition shut down for COVID-19.
Join us at 5pm Saturday for live updates of the Warriors v Knights NRL clash