A serious knee injury could spell the end of Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson's season following last night's crushing 34-22 NRL loss to Penrith.

Johnson sustained the injury to his left leg in the final play of the first half as he was dragged down in a tackle. He returned to the field after the break before limping off with 18 minutes remaining.

The 26-year-old will have scans on the injury today but there are fears he may have torn his ACL which could mean at least six months on the sidelines.

The loss of the No7 would be a massive blow to the Warriors chances of clawing their way into the top eight and shatter his hopes of appearing for the Kiwis at the World Cup in October.

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"In terms of the extent of it I'm not 100 per cent sure," said coach Stephen Kearney.

"Over the next 24 hours he'll get some scans but the early diagnosis is probably not a real good one.

"Potentially (it could be serious). We just need to wait for the pictures to tell the story.
"We'll have a clearer idea of that tomorrow."

Johnson receives attention before leaving the field. Photo / Photosport.
Johnson receives attention before leaving the field. Photo / Photosport.

Kearney was furious with his side's meek submission in the final quarter after they let slip a 22-18 lead with the Panthers scoring three late tries to spoil departing club legend Manu Vatuvei's farewell.

"It was a special occasion for a special person and we wanted to try and honour that but the performance didn't do him justice that's for sure," he said.

"It's very annoying. I don't think I'll be able to say how I feel about it.

"That's not what we've been working towards as a group so (I'm) pissed off."

With the Warriors now needing at least five wins from their remaining seven games, Kearney was in no mood to contemplate his side's finals prospects without Johnson, with another tough assignment coming in next Saturday's clash against North Queensland in Townsville.

"I'm not thinking about that right at this stage," he said.

"If there's an opportunity we'll be doing everything we can to try and maximise that. But on the back of tonight's performance we've got a fair bit to get through.

"We've got a really tough match next week up in Townsville so we'll assess how everything pans out in regards to particularly Shaun over the next 24 hours."