Utai sidelined for 4 weeks

Wests Tigers winger Matt Utai will miss the next four weeks after breaking his arm in Sunday’s defeat to St George.

X-rays to Utai’s left forearm revealed an underlining fracture, requiring the former Canterbury player to remain in a cast for up to a month.

He is expected to return in round 18.

As well as Utai, coach Tim Sheens will also be without fullback Wade McKinnon for Monday’s clash with Newcastle after he injured a hamstring prior to the 24-18 loss to the Dragons.

“It wasn’t one of those ones where we could afford to send him out there and lose him 50 minutes into a game for the next six weeks,” Sheens said.

“He has had trouble with it. It was just a twinge. It might cost him a week next week but it wasn’t worth at that point risking a five or six week injury with his history of hamstrings.

“With Lote having a broken arm, you don’t want to see it broken again so we have to be 100 per cent sure there.”

Despite the loss of Utai and McKinnon, Sheens is hopeful of the availability of injured stars Keith Galloway, Gareth Ellis and Lote Tuqiri for the match at Leichhardt Oval.

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