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Injury report: Four of most experienced players on sideline

Four seasoned campaigners including the Vodafone Warriors’ two most experienced players are now on the NRL squad’s injured list.

New signing Ash Taylor is the latest casualty after succumbing to a hip complaint following the Vodafone Warriors’ 18-20 loss to Gold Coast on Saturday.

More detail on the 26-year-old Taylor’s injury and his recovery time will be provided soon.

The 116-game veteran has joined three other 100-game plus players in the casualty ward.

Halfback Shaun Johnson (207 games) was side-lined after his first game back with the club on March 12. A pectoral injury is expected to keep him out for three to four weeks leaving him in line to be available for either the match against the Brisbane Broncos on April 2 or the North Queensland Cowboys on April 9.

Winger Dallin Watene-Zeleniak (153 games) has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a broken left thumb. Possible games for him to return would be the Melbourne Storm (April 25), the Canberra Raiders (April 30) or the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks (May 8).

The fourth of the senior players on injury hold is captain Tohu Harris (182 appearances) who is set for an early to mid-season return from ACL surgery.

The injuries have stripped the Vodafone Warriors of 658 games in NRL experience, leaving them with only three available players who have appeared in more than 100 matches – Kodi Nikorima (141), Euan Aitken (137) and stand-in captain Addin Fonua-Blake (114).


Tom Ale (knee) | Expected to return mid-season

Tohu Harris (knee) | Expected to return early to mid-season

Shaun Johnson (pectoral) | Expected to return round four or five

Ash Taylor (hip) | Return date to be confirmed

Viliami Vailea (knee) | Expected to return round for or five

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak | Six-eight weeks

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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