The Panthers have lost their major attacking weapon Viliame Kikau for the must-win match against the Sea Eagles on Thursday night.
The Fijian international has been ruled out with illness and his place in Ivan Cleary’s 17 will be taken by Liam Martin for the match at Panthers Stadium.
It’s a huge blow for the struggling Panthers, who are trying to resurrect their season after an awful opening three months.
They remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder alongside the Titans and Bulldogs with only three wins from 11 matches despite being the first team to beat the Eels at Bankwest Stadium last week.
They are already without halfback Nathan Cleary, who is in camp with Brad Fittler’s NSW squad before the State of Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night. Centres Waqa Blake and Dean Whare were also injured against Parramatta.
The Sea Eagles are missing Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans and NSW forward Jake Trbojevic through representative duty.
Kikau has had a torrid start to the year missing the opening three rounds with a knee injury.