Canterbury have confirmed their worst fears with Adam Elliott set to undergo surgery on a dislocated shoulder that will likely end his NRL season.
The 25-year-old made big contact with South Sydney forward Tom Burgess on Sunday night but in trying to haul him to the ground, Elliott's arm went limp and he was taken from the field.
The Bulldogs star went for scans on Monday morning where the injury was diagnosed and the club has since confirmed a surgical repair may be needed, bringing an early end to his season.
It is a terrible blow for the Bulldogs and Elliott, who has been among their best players in a dour year.
The news comes at a horrible time for the Bulldogs, who suffered their seventh loss of the NRL season and are already without Will Hopoate for up to two months with an ankle injury.
However, coach Dean Pay said he has hopes new recruit Luke Thompson - signed from English Super League club St Helen's - will be cleared to make his club debut against Brisbane on Saturday.
"We're pretty confident (Thompson) should be right next week. We'll see how he goes during the week but we're hopeful," Pay said.
"He's a quality player so you put any sort of quality player in a footy team they're going to help the team.
"He's an international, he's been a part of a very successful club over there so he brings a lot to our team."
Australian Associated Press