Penrith Panthers defeat to Canberra on Sunday came at an additional double cost, with both Peter Wallace and Dean Whare injured.
Skipper Wallace will miss the rest of the NRL campaign after scans confirmed he had ruptured his ACL for the second consecutive season.
Whare will need surgery on a broken thumb that could also sideline him until the end of the season. The Panthers say his recovery period will be between 4-6 weeks, but with only six games left of the campaign and the club already virtually out of the running for the finals there will be no rush to get him back into action.
Coach Ivan Cleary has lost 16 top players at various times this season, and will also have forward Nigel Plum unavailable for Sunday's clash against the Rabbitohs due to concussion.
The Panthers are 2.00 to beat South Sydney, who are 2.00.
Wallace was able to play more than half the game against the Raiders after being injured.
Cleary said the Scotland international's scans had "blindsided us a bit", adding: "We thought it may have been a bit of cartilage flaring up again because he had a bit of trouble with it this year, and got it scoped. Last year he knew what he had done, but this year he didn't.
"I'm just really feeling for him. He's had a tough year personally (with the death of his mother), and he deserves better."
Plum was knocked out in an accidental head clash in the Raiders match
"That was a proper knockout," said Cleary. "He's had a few in his career, and while he's finishing up this season, I don't think we could look ourselves in the eye if we put him out there this week."
Penrith are 2.00 with a 14.5-points start against the Rabbitohs.
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