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New Zealand Warriors hooker PJ Marsh has had a second operation to use bone grafts from his hip to repair torn vertebrae in his neck.
The surgery was considered successful and now it's a matter of giving the bone time to knit.
If all went well, Marsh would be ready to play next season.
PJ hurt his neck in a tackle against his former NRL club Parramatta last June and underwent surgery nine months ago.
He had expected to be back playing by now, but has been unable to resume full contact training.
Marsh is one of several Warriors players sidelined by injury as they try desperately to overcome a poor start to the season. Another injured Warrior, Jerome Ropati, is also having trouble with a bone injury.
Ropati's broken jaw has not healed as quickly as expected, and his comeback has been pushed back five to six weeks.
Marcus Perenara will have wrist surgery this week and his projected return is the end of July.
Vince Mellars is out for another eight weeks with a shattered finger.
Hooker Tevita Latu is excepted to be available for selection in two weeks.
Tony Martin is in doubt for Sunday's match against the Roosters because of a recurring knee strain.
Were he unable to play, Justin Murphy would come on to the bench and Sione Faumuina would start in the centres.