If St George Illawarra are to win their first premiership since 2010, they will need to do it without representative prop Paul Vaughan.
The NSW forward was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a foot injury at training on Tuesday afternoon.
Vaughan had been named to potentially make a comeback against Canterbury on Sunday from an ankle injury suffered against the New Zealand Warriors in round 21.
But it is understood Vaughan was hurt during training when as many as three players fell on his foot in a freak accident, fracturing it.
“Paul suffered a season-ending injury to his foot in a unfortunate incident at training," Dragons head of athletic performance Nathan Pickworth said.
“Paul's foot injury occurred on the opposite leg to the one he previously suffered against the Warriors.”
Vaughan said he was gutted to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.
“I'm devastated that my season has come to an end so suddenly,” he said.
“However, I'll continue to support the boys for the rest of the year, and I look forward to coming back bigger and better in 2019.”