Mullen expected to be out for season

Newcastle five-eighth Jarrod Mullen is expected to confirm he will miss the rest of the season when he speaks to the media later today.

Mullen, 20, dislocated his shoulder at training last week and although initial X-rays and MRI scans had cleared him of serious damage he was referred to Sydney shoulder specialist Dr Des Bokor this week for a second opinion.

Bokor is the same specialist who has operated on Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall four times for separate shoulder injuries. Mullen has had an injury-plagued two months since he made his shock State of Origin debut for NSW at halfback on May 23.

He suffered a torn calf muscle in round 11 against Brisbane, ruling him out of Origin II, and hurt his shoulder just as he was about to make a comeback from a quadriceps strain.

If Mullen is ruled out for the season it would cap a horror year for new Newcastle coach Brian Smith who has already lost five players for the rest of 2007 including club champion Andrew Johns who retired due to a neck injury.