Penrith Panthers could start the NRL season without their Vodafone Fiji Bati forward Viliame Kikau.

Kikau went down with a knee injury in the Panther’s 28-8 trial win over South Sydney. reports the giant back-rower had scans yesterday but the early prognosis was he suffered a grade one or two medial ligament tear, which could rule him out for two to six weeks.

Kikau was taken from the field in just the third minute after twisting his right knee awkwardly in a tackle at a wet and dreary Redfern Oval on Saturday.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was upbeat and said he didn’t expect to lose Kikau for an extended period of time.

Kikau said he feared his season was over before it even began.

The former Marist Borthers High School student is one of the most damaging forwards in the NRL and he is still expected to be sidelined for six weeks with medial ligament damage.

Kikau is hoping for a return to the field in round four when the Panthers host the Wests Tiger.

Panthers winger Josh Mansour said Kikau would be missed in the early rounds.


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