The Warriors will be without the services of Ben Matulino for the early part of the upcoming NRL season with the senior forward set to undergo surgery on his left knee following a training mishap on Tuesday.
Matulino underwent scans today and will require surgery in the coming days ruling him out of the early rounds of the NRL campaign.
It comes as cruel blow for the 28-year-old who was close to completing his rehabilitation and working his way back to full fitness after undergoing clean-out surgery on his right knee over the off-season.
Warriors head of athletic performance Balin Cupples said it was an unfortunate setback but that surgery was certainly the right option at this point in the pre-season.
"Unfortunately, Ben injured his left knee at training and it was determined that surgical management would provide the best outcome for him at this stage of the season," he said.
"It is expected he will return to play early in the 2017 season."
The news is a blow to new coach Stephen Kearney's plans for the season ahead but he said it was important for Matulino to get the right treatment.
"It's disappointing but we are taking a long-term view here," he said.
"It makes sense to get the knee sorted now. Naturally, Ben's disappointed but he'll work hard on his rehab and will undoubtedly be a wonderful addition to the team once he's recovered."
Matulino, a two-time winner of the Warriors' Player of the Year award (2015 and 2012) is on the verge of reaching the 200 game milestone having made 196 NRL appearances since making his Warriors debut in 2008.
The Wellington-born Kiwis international played 23 games last season but was dumped from first grade and stood down from selection for the midyear Anzac test against Australia for his involvement in the sleeping pills/energy drinks controversy.
Matulino's form improved through the Warriors promising mid-year run before fading again in the last month, which prompted stinging criticism from former Kiwis captain Hugh McGahan, who suggested the Warriors should sack him along with veteran wing Manu Vatuvei.
Matulino previously required minor surgery on a cartilage problem in his right knee midway through the 2014 season that saw him miss two matches.