St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan's comeback has been cut short after he was cruelly ruled out for the rest of the NRL season.
Vaughan suffered what has been described as a freak foot injury during training in Wollongong on Tuesday.
The session was his first after recovering from a syndesmosis injury in his ankle, and he was in line to take on Canterbury on Sunday.
Vaughan looked unhindered during the session, taking part in all contact drills, but limped off the ground at the end of the session.
Teammates and club officials dismissed it as just a bit of soreness after the NSW Origin front-rower missed the past two weeks.
He was even named by coach Paul McGregor on an extended bench in the side to take on the Bulldogs.
However, after undergoing scans on Tuesday afternoon and being examined by the club's doctors, it became apparent he would miss the final two regular-round matches and the finals.
"I'm devastated that my season has come to an end so suddenly today," Vaughan said.
"However, I'll continue to support the boys for the rest of the year and I look forward to coming back bigger and better in 2019."
Vaughan's injury is on a different leg to that which was hurt in the round 21 loss to the Warriors.
His loss is a massive blow for the Dragons engine room and it will place pressure on the rest of the pack.
Leeson Ah Mau has been named to partner James Graham in the front row to take on the Bulldogs at Jubilee Oval on Sunday.
In better news for the Red V, retiring winger Jason Nightingale has been named to return from a neck problem for what will be his final game at Kogarah.
Australian Associated Press