Photo: Getty Images
Luckless Newcastle have been dealt yet another injury blow with hooker Rory Kostjasyn to miss at least the first six weeks of the NRL season because of a throat injury.
Kostjasyn, who arrived at the club from North Queensland during the off-season, will need an operation after missing the past two weeks of training after he copped an accidental elbow to the throat in a training drill.
Rory Kostjasyn Photo: @NRL_Knights
He spent two nights in hospital after the incident and has since seen two specialists who have confirmed he will need surgery once the swelling goes down.
"At the moment they can't touch it simply because it's so swollen," Newcastle physio Tony Ayoub said.
"If it can settle down then he can have that surgery sooner rather than later."
Kostjasyn will see another doctor this week to develop a plan moving forward, but it's expected the injury will keep him sidelined for at least 12 weeks from this point.
"They'll have to decide whether they can relocate that dislocated cartilage or they put an implant in," Ayoub said.
"Either way Rory has got to have surgery, and we'll get some more clarity in the next two, four weeks depending on when has it."
That will effectively rule him out until at least after the Knights' round six home clash with Canterbury on April 7.
Kostjasyn was expected to take on a more senior role at Newcastle after spending most of his time at North Queensland coming off the bench.
Danny Levi Photo: Getty Images
Youngster Danny Levi will likely start in the No.9 jersey, while Jarrod Mullen had been spending time training at dummy-half.
However those plans were likely put to rest when the veteran was last week handed a provisional suspension for allegedly testing positive to an anabolic steroid.
It kicked off a horror week for the club in which interchange forward Pauli Pauli was hospitalised with a dislocated hip when involved in a car crash.
Last year's wooden spooners then released wantaway forward Korbin Sims from the final year of his contract on Friday.
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