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Penrith will be without skipper Craig Gower for Saturday?s clash with Parramatta after the halfback suffered a new injury that could keep him out of action until close to the end of the regular season.
Gower has been out for a month after suffering a knee injury during the first State of Origin match at Telstra Stadium and was due to make his comeback this weekend.
But he went down at training this afternoon, and was immediately ruled out of the local derby.
"It's a new injury but to the same knee,? said Panthers coach John Lang.
?I'm waiting on the doctor's report but it could be cartilage. Until we know I can't estimate how long he'll be out but if he needs an arthroscope it would probably mean about four weeks."
Despite beating the Sharks last weekend, Penrith have failed to fire without Gower leading them around the park and face a desperate Parramatta side without any of their regular halves. Five-eighth Preston Campbell and centre-come-pivot Ryan Girdler are still at least a week away from returning.
Lang said Ben Rogers would be called into the side but he hasn?t made a decision on the final make-up of the side.
It?s possible Luke Priddis could switch to halfback after an impressive display against the Sharks last weekend in which he virtually led the side around the park.