Connor Watson started the season hellbent on shedding his utility tag and establishing himself in the number six jumper at the Knights.
But that goal is already in tatters after just three rounds.
Watson faces a possible shoulder operation that could sideline him for up to three months after lasting just 19 minutes against his old club, Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
Knights coach Nathan Brown didn’t elaborate on the nature of the injury after the game but it is understood his shoulder popped out at least twice before he was eventually forced off.
There are fears in the camp he may have suffered a fracture during the dislocation that would require surgery.
“We won’t know the extent of it until after he has scans but it doesn’t look good,”Knights head of football Darren Mooney said.
“He tried to stay out there and there was talk of strapping it but he was struggling just to pass the footy so he had to come off.”
The Watson injury was just one of the negatives on a night the Knights won’t want to dwell on.
And Watson’s absence will leave coach Brown with plenty of thinking to do about how he balances his squad in the lead up to Sunday’s clash against the unbeaten Dragons in Wollongong.
Brock Lamb, who has started off the bench in the opening three rounds, is Watson’s obvious replacement but how the coach manages his bench now becomes the question.
Does he go with another utility player as a safeguard against injury or possibly bring back-up hooker Danny Levi, who played strongly in the Knights’ NSW Cup win on Sunday, back into the squad?
Complicating the issue further was another concussion scare for centre Sione Mata’utia against the Roosters.
Mata’utia was left dazed after a big hit on Roosters fullback James Tedesco in the first half and left the field to be assessed.
With Watson sidelined around the same time, it meant replacement Jamie Buhrer was forced to spend time in the centres before Mata’utia was cleared to rejoin the fray.
The 38-8 scoreline underlined the Roosters dominance.
But it also highlighted the Knights need to make the most of every opportunity they create with chances going begging in the first half that could have altered the course of the contest.