The Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater has been ruled out of the remainder of the National Rugby League season with a shoulder injury.
The difficult decision to call an early end to his season was made by Slater late Thursday after being assessed by Storm medical staff.
Slater says after each game he plays, the battle to get up for the next week is becoming harder and the shoulder takes longer to settle down, not allowing him to play to his full potential.
Slater, who played Origin II for Queensland with what is an existing injury at the MCG on Wednesday night, will have surgery next week to repair a labral tear of his glenohumeral joint to his left shoulder.
He says each week he's been focused on getting up for the next game and was able to do that for Origin on Wednesday night at the MCG, however the best decision is to undergo surgery now.
Slater says he's extremely disappointed not to be available to play for Queensland in Game III and especially for the rest of the season with Melbourne Storm.
Slater sustained the injury while playing for the Storm against the Warriors in round five.
He underwent surgery on his right shoulder at the end of the 2014 season.
The 32-year-old Slater is expected to be replaced by Greg Inglis at full-back in the Maroons line-up for Origin III at Lang Park on July 8th.
It looms as one of a number of team changes with Maroons team-mates backing Cooper Cronk to return as half-back and a shake-up in the forwards mooted following the 26-18 loss to New South Wales in Origin II.