Sydney Roosters could suffer more pain from Friday night’s record flogging with Jake Friend to go for scans on an injured cheekbone.
Friend last just three minutes in the 60-8 smashing from South Sydney, leaving the field after a head knock and heavily swollen left cheek.
He failed his HIA and did not return, but the Roosters are also concerned he could have suffered bone damage that could sideline him.
Any absence would be a bitter blow for the two-time defending champions ahead of a likely NRL finals clash with minor premiers Penrith.
Back-up hooker Sam Verrills is already out for the season, as is Victor Radley who can also fill in at dummy-half.
Twenty-year-old Freddy Lussick is the most likely man to be next in line but he has played just four NRL games, while Lachlan Lam is the alternative.
“He’s got to get it checked, we’ll see how that is. He’s sore. I can’t give you much more than that,” coach Trent Robinson said.
“It’s obviously a specialist position and you want to have those craftsmen playing there that have played some games but we’ve been here before as well.
“We’ll see how Jake is, then the possibility of someone to fill that role and fill it well.”
Friend’s injury left a horrible after taste in what was already a terrible night for the Roosters against arch-rivals Souths.
The 60 points they conceded was the most they have let in for a decade, while their 52-point losing margin was also their biggest ever to the Rabbitohs.
And while they rested Joey Manu, Lindsay Collins, Isaac Liu and Brett Morris, that doesn’t account for the 34 missed tackles or 68 per cent completion rate.
They’ll also now need to defy history to pull off a three-peat, with no team in the premiership’s 112-year history having won the title after conceding 50 points in a game.
“We’ve got to take our medicine. It really hurts,” Robinson said.
“We have to make sure we sit in it for a while, deal with it and by Sunday morning when we wake up we get that belief and get back to playing footy.
“We didn’t become poor footy players overnight. We got huge lessons there so take them on board, get back to our footy ASAP.”