Melbourne Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes has suffered a calf injury ahead of the biggest clash of the season so far.
It means the Storm will face the undefeated Penrith Panthers without both Hughes and fullback superstar Ryan Papenhuyzen.
In a statement, Melbourne Storm were hopeful of a rapid return for the 27-year-old.
“Jahrome Hughes has been ruled out of tonight’s Magic Round clash against the Penrith Panthers due to a calf injury,” the statement read.
“We are hoping he will be okay for next week's match against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.”
On top of the two backs, the Storm will also be without winger Reimis Smith, leaving them likely to move around three of Marion Seve, Nick Meaney, Cooper Johns, Dean Ieremia and Tyran Wishart to fill the place of the injured trio.
Another possibility raised by coach Craig Bellamy is for Cameron Munster to play in the fullback role, however, they may need the powerhouse in his traditional five-eighth role if they are any chance to topple the ladder leaders.
Confirmation of the teams will be made final an hour before kick-off at 6.45pm AEST.