Slumping Dragons sweat on injured NRL duo

The Dragons' James Graham (top) injured his ankle against the Sharks.
The Dragons' James Graham (top) injured his ankle against the Sharks.

St George Illawarra will be sweating on scans for James Graham and Tim Lafai after both suffered ankle injuries during Sunday's loss to Cronulla.

The Dragons lost Lafai after 16 minutes and Graham failed to emerge after halftime while Tyson Frizell also retired early due to a first-half concussion.

The casualty toll whittled Paul McGregor's bench down to just one player in the second half, cruelling any hope of the Dragons not slumping to a fifth straight defeat.

"We were left with one there, and we unfortunately used five (interchanges) in that period because of the changes," McGregor said.

"But that's footy. It's a bit of a mash unit downstairs, to be honest."

The bye comes at an opportune time for McGregor's men, who entered the clash without Corey Norman, Gareth Widdop, Jeremy Latimore, and Jack de Belin.

With only one of those, Norman, expected back after the break, McGregor is banking on good news for Graham and Lafai.

"At the moment I don't know to the extent but if James doesn't come back onto the field, it's a bad one, one would think. He's in a (moon) boot," McGregor said.

"And Lafai's on crutches as well, so they're both highly unlikely. We've got the bye next week, so that helps."

The Dragons enter their bye in 13th spot with a 4-7 record, which is a far cry from last year, when they sat atop the ladder at the end of round 11.

McGregor admitted the bye was a welcome rest for his weary men.

"Sometimes you need a break from it, refresh and have a bit of a review on where you are, what you need to do next, and have a plan going forward," he said.

"And (it) certainly gives the players that are injured extra time to heal."

Australian Associated Press