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Wests Tigers' premiership defence took a broadside hit last night when five-eighth Benji Marshall was ruled out for the rest of the NRL season with another shoulder injury.
Marshall left the field late in the second half of Penrith's 24-20 win over the Tigers at CUA Stadium and went immediately to the dressing sheds.
He had attempted a tackle on Panthers forward Frank Puletua in the 74th minute and clutched at the shoulder immediately afterwards.
Tigers club doctor Donald Kuah said the shoulder had dislocated but had popped back in without needing to be re-set.
"It went out and back in," Kuah said.
"He'll go in for surgery and usually (there is) a six-month rehab period."
Kuah said Marshall had been understandably upset, but he was becoming used to his now regular shoulder problems.
"We almost expected that at some stage (this season) it might happen," he said.
Asked if there was a chance the injury would end Marshall's NRL career, Kuah said: "No, actually none at all. He's like any other player with a shoulder reconstruction, there's about five in most NRL sides."