Jersey cursed says new Bulldogs

Canterbury Bulldogs centre Jamaal Lolesi said he believed the team's number one jersey was "cursed" and he may not wear it when he appears in the position against South Sydney on Sunday.

Lolesi will be the fourth player in four weeks to wear the fullback's jersey for the club after Hazem El Masri was ruled out on Wednesday for six to eight weeks due to a knee injury.

"The coach has said to me 'I don't want you wearing the number one, it's cursed'," Lolesi told the club's Web site. "I'll wear the number two -- it went well for me last week."

Luke Patten and Trent Cutler, who both injured ankles, played fullback in the previous two weeks before El Masri was injured. El Masri tore a knee medial ligament last week against Brisbane and was ruled out until at least the preliminary final, should the champions make the playoffs.

"If we make the finals and the grand final he's got every chance of playing again but we've got to get that far," said Canterbury doctor Hugh Hazard.

Hazard said El Masri does not require surgery and instead would be fitted with a brace and undergo rehabilitation.