Southland Sharks' guard Jordair Jett has had his season cruelly cut short with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury ending his playing time in Invercargill .
"Jordair's injury against the Rangers turned out to be more serious than first thought," Zero Fees Southland Sharks general manager Jill Bolger said.
"He had an MRI scan, which an orthopaedic surgeon looked at and unfortunately the news was all bad , which is extremely sad for Jordair."
"I'm gutted for Jordair, who was turning in to a crowd favourite at ILT Stadium Southland. He is likely head home next week for surgery and rehab."
The Sharks have been quick to look for a replacement, with coach Judd Flavell calling on Jett's Townsville Crocodiles captain Mitch Norton to fill the hole left by Jett in the interim.
Known as the Bearded Assassin in Townsville, Norton has just been included in the Australian Boomers training squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Mitch has played 100 games for Townsville, and ironically took over the captaincy of the Crocs from former Shark Brian Conklin," Bolger said.
The 23-year-old guard has represented Australia at age group and university level, and has played for the Crocs since 2012.
Bolger said the Sharks have been racing through the approval process to enable Norton to play against the Canterbury Rams on Friday April 8.
"He will be here. He's a good replacement, and I hope he'll help continue our momentum as the season goes on," she said.