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Casualty ward | Tigers young gun suffers injury blow

Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu has suffered a setback to his State of Origin aspirations this season after the club confirmed he would miss up to eight weeks with an ankle injury.

Utoikamanu suffered the injury against the Warriors last round and has already undergone surgery to repair the damage.

A best-case scenario would see him return in six weeks for the Tigers Round 10 match against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium for Magic Round on 15 May.

A worse-case scenario would see him sidelined until the Round 12 match South Sydney Rabbitohs on 28 May, which would be the final weekend for players to impress before the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues team is chosen for Game One at Accor Stadium on 8 June.

Utoikamanu, 21, is a former NSW pathways player and was brought into the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues extended squad last season for Game Three at the Gold Coast.

He was one of the shining lights for the Tigers last year after running for 2050 metres including 797 post-contact, making 35 tackle breaks and crashing over for six tries.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.