Canterbury’s horror NRL season has worsened with star fullback Will Hopoate ruled out for up to two months with an ankle injury.
Hopoate was undergoing surgery on Monday after scans confirmed he suffered a syndesmosis ligament tear early in Sunday’s loss to the Wests Tigers.
Hopoate fell awkwardly under a tackle from giant Tigers centre Joey Leilua and limped from the field soon after.
The club said he would be out of action for 6-8 weeks.
It is another hammer blow for the Bulldogs, who have lost six of their opening seven games and sit outright last on the competition table.
Hopoate has arguably been Canterbury’s best player this season, averaging 139 metres at fullback before the Tigers game.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is likely to return to the No.1 jumper for their next clash, against South Sydney, at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.
The Bulldogs are already thin in their backline stocks, with winger Christian Crichton having one game left to serve of a two-match suspension.
Rising star Jake Averillo also failed to finish the Tigers game due to concussion, while Marcelo Montoya and uncapped rookie Isaiah Tass are injured.