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Sea Eagles back rower Glenn Stewart will miss the first six weeks of the 2013 NRL season after having surgery on his knee.
Stewart had the operation on Friday after injuring his left knee during training the previous day.
Head coach Geoff Toovey said it is a blow to the team and a frustration for Stewart.
"It's disappointing news for us but we have plenty of talent and it will provide an opportunity for someone to step up and fill his role while he's out."
"It's tough on Glenn after missing the early part of last season. He'll be working very hard to get back on the field as soon as he can."
Stewart will undergo intense rehabilitation, based on a 10-week turnaround, which will see him return for the Sea Eagles' Round 7 clash with the Rabbitohs at Brookvale Oval.
He will see a specialist for a post-op check-up later in the week.