Canberra star John Bateman is shattered after being forced into a second round of shoulder surgery.
The 2019 Dally M second rower of the year will go under the knife on Thursday, ruling him out indefinitely.
“I’m gutted to be having surgery again but it’s what’s best for me and the team and to help me get back on the field as soon as possible,” Bateman said in a Raiders statement.
“I’ll be working harder than ever with my rehab to get myself back on the field with the lads. See you all soon.”
Bateman had already missed the first three rounds of 2020 following off-season surgery and his latest setback casts yet further doubt on his future in Canberra.
There had already been speculation he would return home to England on a lucrative five-year deal with his old club Wigan, allowing the strike forward to also reunite with his daughter Millie.
Either way, his ongoing absence is a huge blow to the 2019 grand finalists’ 2020 premiership hopes.
“Bateman is expected to make a full recovery and will be working hard to get himself back on the field this season,” the Raiders said.
Impressive 22-6 winners over Melbourne in last week’s season relaunch, Canberra “host” Newcastle at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.