NSW winger Nick Cotric has been ruled out of State of Origin II after being diagnosed with an ankle injury.
The news is better than expected with the Canberra flyer not requiring surgery after being diagnosed with a low-grade syndesmosis injury, however it has scuppered any chance of him retaining his Blues' jumper after his debut in game one.
While the Raiders did not put a time frame on his return, it is a bridge too far to be fit for Sunday week's must-win Origin clash in Perth, particularly given the Blues will only have six days, two field sessions and a short captain's run to prepare.
It is estimated Cotric will be out for one to four weeks, but he will be given a better idea after consultation and treatment with Raiders medical staff over the next few days.
The Raiders hope he will miss just one NRL game given next week is a representative round and they have the bye in round 16 following their match with Parramatta.
Cotric's place in the NSW side was already under threat after Manly star Tom Trbojevic returned from a hamstring injury last weekend.
It appears Trbojevic now just simply needs to get through the Sea Eagles' clash with St George Illawarra on Sunday to seal his spot in the side.