Pearce out for 6 weeks with back injury

Sydney Roosters teenager Mitchell Pearce has been ruled out for six weeks after being diagnosed with a stress reaction to the right side of his back.

The 18-year-old halfback failed to complete last night's 38-6 loss to the Bulldogs and underwent an MRI scan this morning which revealed the true nature of his injury. Roosters club doctor John Orchard says the injury was not a stress fracture of the bone, with the scans showing signs of early overload to the lower lumbar area.

Pearce joins fullback Anthony Minichiello (back) and five-eighth Braith Anasta (hand) on a worrying injury list considering the Roosters offloaded halves options Josh Lewis and Jamie Soward several weeks ago.