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Manu Vatuvei leaving the field after aggravating his shoulder injury in the Vodafone Warriors' clash against St George Illawarra in Wellington. Image | www.photosport.nz

Wing Manu Vatuvei is an unlikely starter for the Vodafone Warriors’ 23rd-round NRL encounter with Penrith at Pepper Stadium on Saturday (7.30pm kick-off local time; 9.30pm NZT).

The 29-year-old was forced off the field with more shoulder trouble 60 minutes into Saturday night’s clash against St George Illawarra at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Vatuvei was sidelined with an injury to his right shoulder after the June 27 match against the Canberra Raiders. Following the team’s second bye he missed the next three games against the Melbourne Storm, the Sydney Roosters and the Manly Sea Eagles before returning against the Cronulla Sharks on August 8 only to re-injure the shoulder on Saturday night.

The full extent of the injury is still being assessed but Vatuvei is rated a doubtful starter this weekend.

He joins Ryan Hoffman (calf), Bodene Thompson (ankle) and David Fusitu’a (knee) who are all still sidelined.

NRL REHAB ROOM

David Fusitu’a (knee) | Round 23-24

Ben Henry (knee) | Season

Ryan Hoffman (calf) | Round 23-24

Shaun Johnson (ankle) | Season

Ngani Laumape (knee) | Season

Thomas Leuluai (knee) | Season

Bodene Thompson (ankle) | Round 23-24

Manu Vatuvei (shoulder) | TBC

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