Young Warriors utility Nathaniel Roache will sit out the entire 2018 NRL season after an injury setback at training.
The 21-year-old Roache - who pinched Issac Luke's starting hooker berth last year until rupturing an Achilles tendon - was on the comeback trail from his original injury when he suffered a fresh one to his back.
He'll undergo surgery on his lumbar disc next week.
Head coach Stephen Kearney said he was upset to lose the reliable Roache, who has made 20 NRL appearances since his 2016 debut.
He can play at hooker, in the halves or even in the outside backs.
"It's really sad for Nate and we're all feeling for him," Kearney said.
"He's a wonderful young man with a terrific attitude, despite the adversity he has faced in his career - he made an excellent recovery from his Achilles surgery, only for this to happen."