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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 REPORT

   
  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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