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Returning club favourite Shaun Johnson has become the third player to face a stint on the side-line after being injured in the Vodafone Warriors’ season-opening loss to St George Illawarra on Saturday.

Scans and further assessment on Monday revealed the 31-year-old halfback has a minor pectoral strain which is expected to keep him out of action for up to four weeks.

In his first match for the club in more than three and a half years, Johnson had a hand in each of the Vodafone Warriors’ three tries in their 16-28 defeat by the Dragons.

He joins experienced winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and rookie centre Viliami Vailea on the club’s injury list.

Watene-Zelezniak broke his left thumb in the opening minutes of Saturday’s encounter but still played the full 80 minutes, a courageous performance highlighted by him scoring his fifth try in his 10th match for the club.

The 26-year-old will have surgery and is likely to be out of contention for six to eight weeks.

On his Instagram account, Watene-Zelezniak said: “Ah, the ups and downs of rugby league. I’ll be grinding to get back soon! Lessgooo.”

Vailea (19), playing his third NRL match, needed treatment after a knock to his left knee midway midway through the first half. He played out the full 80 minutes but he has suffered a MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury which is expected to keep him out of action for three to four weeks.


  Injury Return
Tom Ale Knee Mid season
Tohu Harris Knee Early-mid season
Shaun Johnson Pectoral 3-4 weeks
Viliami Vailea Knee 3-4 weeks
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak Hand 6-8 weeks
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