St George playmaker Kyle Stanley will miss the entire 2013 season with a knee injury.
The 21-year-old utility player needs two bouts of surgery to repair ligament damage suffered after slipping on a wet surface away from training.
“It’s not the best news but I understand that this decision is overall in my best interests as a player,” Stanley told the club’s official website.
“I have to remain positive and know that once the surgery is completed I can commence the road back to recovery properly with solid rehabilitation.
“The entire team are in the middle of pre-season now and are all working hard ahead of the new year ahead.
“They’ve all wished me well and while I wish I was out there with them training, they know I’ll be supporting them whatever way I can.”
Stanley will require an extensive period of rehabilitation before returning to training.
Dragons coach Steve Price said the club hoped Stanley would be back in action as soon as possible.
“We believe that this process will give Kyle the best chance of making a full recovery which is our main priority at this time,” said Price.
“Kyle is an exciting young player who has really come of age this past year and he has handled these recent obstacles with positivity and maturity.”