Penrith front-rower Sam McKendry is out of rugby league indefinitely after suffering a fractured neck in Monday night's NRL win over Parramatta.
McKendry, who has played seven Tests for New Zealand, sustained a stable C6 vertebrae fracture.
The injury occurred in a tackle in the 16th minute which saw McKendry initially leave the field before returning for another stint later in the second half.
McKendry has played all seven games so far this season but lasted just 30 minutes before leaving the field against the Eels.
"He's a tough man, Sam, there's no doubt about that,'' Penrith coach Ivan Cleary told the Sydney Morning Herald.
He will see a specialist on Friday to discuss how the injury will be managed.
Cleary said best-case scenario, McKendry faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines.