McLean out for three months
NORTH Queensland forward Jordan McLean will be out for a minimum of 12 weeks and be unavailable for State of Origin I and II.
McLean injured his foot during Thursday night's loss to Penrith in Townsville.
He was taken from the field immediately and will undergo surgery on Monday.
There are fears McLean may in fact miss the entire season in what would be a crippling blow to the struggling Cowboys.
McLean was part of an extended NSW State of Origin squad last year.
He was expected to place pressure on being named in the 17-man playing squad this year.
McLean will definitely be unavailable for game one of the Origin series and would only have returned for one match to be considered for game two.
Should the injury be 12 weeks, McLean would return in round 15.
In another blow for the Cowboys, hooker Josh Chudleigh may have injured his anterior cruciate ligament for a third time after he failed to finish Mackay Cutters' 22-16 loss to Northern Pride in Cairns on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old, who had only returned to football two weeks ago, was taken from the field late in the match and is yet to undergo scans due to the Easter holiday period.
A fortnight ago, Chudleigh spoke of his delight at being cleared to play after a 14-month rehabilitation period.
The 2016 Queensland Cup player of the year ruptured his ACL for the second time at pre-season training in December that year, but his recovery was delayed due to a setback in his recovery.
Cutters coach Steve Sheppard said the squad was shattered at Chudleigh's horrible luck.
"It's pretty deflated in there (dressing rooms) with 'Chuds' with another possible ACL injury," he said after the game.
"He was just making a tackle and felt his knee move so it doesn't look good. Fingers crossed for the kid, he's a really good kid and hopefully it's OK."
Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote returned from a niggling hamstring injury for the Cutters, and has his fingers crossed the injury isn't as bad as feared.
"Like 'Pup' (Sheppard) said, he's a great fella, done a lot of hard work to get to where he is now after back-to-back ACLs," Coote said.
"Hopefully this one is not completely torn and best of luck to him. I just feel sorry for him I guess."