James Graham Photo: Getty Images
With their finals chances already hanging by a thread, Canterbury have been struck a massive blow, with captain James Graham to miss a month due to a neck injury.
Graham will undergo minor surgery to correct a persistent problem which has plagued him over the last several weeks.
The news is compounded by fellow forward Greg Eastwood being out for five to six weeks due to a meniscus tear in his knee.
Des Hasler's Dogs are 13th, struggling to keep pace with the top eight and will fall three wins behind eighth-placed Parramatta with a loss to the Eels on Thursday night.
They must win six of their last nine and Graham looks set to miss key clashes against the Eels, Newcastle and Brisbane.
Sam Kasiano will replace Graham in the Dogs' starting side to take on the Eels, while winger Brett Morris returns after being rested last week.
Meanwhile, injured Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith is no certainty to play in their NRL clash against Brisbane on Friday, after skipping training on Tuesday.
Coach Craig Bellamy wouldn't elaborate on Smith's injury, except to say he was still sore following last week's Origin.
Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk have been named to face the Broncos but are no guarantees while Will Chambers (concussion) and Jordan McLean (fractured cheekbone) are also back.
Te Maire Martin will make his North Queensland debut against Canberra on Saturday in place of injured skipper Johnathan Thurston.
Just two weeks after being shown the door by Penrith, the New Zealand international is being charged with leading the Cowboys to the finals.
He will slot in at five-eighth with Michael Morgan to revert to halfback.
"They haven't trained together a hell of a lot because Morgo's been on Origin duty," coach Paul Green said of his new halves pairing.
"And those guys (their Origin representatives) had the early part of the week off to give them a freshen up. But he's a pretty smart kid, he's picking it up pretty quickly."
Centre Euan Aitken (hamstring) returns for St George Illawarra while prop Paul Vaughan (calf) will be replaced by Leeson Ah Mau in the starting side to take on the Gold Coast.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor has dropped Josh McCrone to the bench following his sub-par showing against the Knights and will be replaced by Kurt Mann at halfback.
Kodi Nikorima has been named at halfback by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett but could be replaced by Ben Hunt, who has once again been included on the bench.
Nu Brown slots into the Cronulla dummy-half role for Jayden Brailey (broken jaw).
Kieran Foran (quad) returns for the Warriors to face his former club Manly, while Nathaniel Roache replaces hooker Issac Luke (shoulder).
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has reacted to his side's loss to the Broncos by including Dave Taylor on the bench for Clay Priest for what could be his first game since round five.
Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco (ankle) will also make his comeback, as will South Sydney captain Sam Burgess (glute).