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North Queensland lock Luke O'Donnell will undergo surgery on Tuesday night to clean out his hip joint and will be sidelined for up to four weeks.
O'Donnell visited surgeon Dr David Young in Melbourne where he underwent MRI scans, CT scans and x-rays on a hip problem related to the "wishbone tackle" that ended his 2007 NRL season.
"He needs arthroscopic surgery on the hip joint tomorrow night to clean it out because he's got an impingement in there," Cowboys athletic performance manager Glen Murphy said.
O'Donnell hurt his hip during North Queensland's 48-20 win over the New Zealand Warriors in Townsville on Saturday night.
The injury shattered his hopes of playing for Australia in the Centenary Test against New Zealand at the SCG on May 9.
It's also a major blow to the Cowboys, who are already missing fellow forwards Matt Scott (ankle), Shane Tronc (shoulder), Sione Faumuina (hernia) and Anthony Watts (shoulder).
"I'm hoping that's the case - three or four weeks (out of action)," O'Donnell told AAP.
"I can only see what happens when I come out (of surgery).