Karyn Murphy Medal winner Kimiora Nati will undergo surgery on Friday for an ACL rupture and torn meniscus.
The Brisbane Broncos five-eighth, who played an integral part in their 34-12 victory over the Sydney Roosters in the inaugural NRLW grand final, faces an indefinite period on the sidelines but Broncos officials are hopeful the 30-year-old will be able to suit up for next year's competition.
It is generally nine months back to full recovery, so Brisbane's NRLW coach Paul Dyer expects Nati and Meg Ward, who had to undergo surgery on her neck this week, to be available for Brisbane's title defence.
"It is probably an example of where the timing of the competition will help us out," said Dyer who expects the NRLW to kick off in August again.
"Kimiora will have an operation to have a pretty standard repair of her ACL, as there doesn't seem to be any other issues around it. The full rehab around that surgery is nine months, which will put her back on the field for around the first trial. The Broncos will have some influence on her recovery from afar.
"The pair have had pretty big surgeries but the timing means they should be right to be back for the NRLW competition next year."
The latest Telstra Premiership injury news
Playmaker Anthony Milford has undergone a shoulder reconstruction and will be on light duties over the summer break with the Broncos confident he will be fit for round one. Andrew McCullough (finger) had surgery on a damaged ligament and is expected to return to skills-based training during pre-season in December.
Teenage star David Fifita (ankle) is back running at pre-season training with the rehab squad along with back-rower Matt Gillett (shoulder) and Jaydn Su'A (ankle) who are all pushing for a pre-season return. Jack Bird (sternum) has been given a clearance from his surgeon to return to full contact and has commenced pre-season training. Payne Haas is well on the road to recovery from a shoulder reconstruction and is already setting a cracking pace in conditioning sessions.
Jordan Rapana is set to miss the first 11-14 rounds of the 2019 season following surgery on a dislocated shoulder suffered on Kiwis duty, while Ata Hingano may miss the opening six rounds of the season with the same injury.
Jarrod Croker is recovering from knee surgery and will have no contact at training until January. Aidan Sezer (hamstring) will be fit for day one of Canberra's pre-season in November.
Josh Jackson will miss most of the 2019 pre-season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Bulldogs skipper faces lengthy rehabilitation but is expected to be at full fitness by round one next year.
Adam Elliott had wrist surgery and will be back to full contact for the Bulldogs' pre-season campaign in November. Raymond Faitala-Mariner was a withdrawal from New Zealand's tour of England in October and November after failing to overcome a knee injury. He's expected to be available for day one of 2019 preparations.
Kieran Foran (toe) and Marcelo Montoya (hamstring) are also set for November returns with Foran to join the main squad a fortnight into training.
Kerrod Holland is expected to return to training in December after undergoing ankle surgery, while Panthers recruit Corey Harawira-Naera will miss New Zealand's tour of the UK with a groin injury.
Matt Moylan, Jason Bukuya and Josh Dugan will all undergo shoulder operations. The first three will be back doing rehab in November and all will be good for the start of 2019.
Wade Graham is unlikely for a round one return with a six-month rehabilitation from an ACL injury underway. Jack Williams (pectoral) will return to training before Christmas.
Paul Gallen has a rotator cuff injury but the Sharks say he won't need surgery.
Gold Coast Titans
Breakout star AJ Brimson underwent a shoulder reconstruction in September but is expected to be fit before round one with the club admitting he could miss the entire pre-season. Max King will resume contact following shoulder surgery in December, while teammate Morgan Boyle won't be available with a similar injury until January.
Dale Copley (hamstring) and Michael Gordon (wrist) will be available for the start of pre-season.
Manly Sea Eagles
Lachlan Croker and Curtis Sironen are expected to join their teammates for training in November after more than six months off with ACL injuries.
Apisai Koroisau is also expected to front for day one of pre-season after missing the final three months of the competition.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona aggravated an ankle injury in the grand final and was wearing a moon boot after the match. He has been ruled out of New Zealand's clash with Australia and the tour of England. Asofa-Solomona is expected to return to the training paddock by the new year.
North Queensland Cowboys
Michael Morgan is expected to start light training with the side in November after a four-month injury layoff from a biceps injury.
Knights trio Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson and Danny Levi are making strong progress in their return from injury. Both Ponga (ankle) and Watson (groin) are running and will return to training with the full squad from the start of December after returning from surgery. Levi had surgery on his back in the off-season but is not expected to miss much training as he completes his recovery.
Nathan Ross, who had groin surgery, is set for a two-month lay-off period. He's set to miss the first fortnight of 2019 preparations before returning to full fitness by December.
Tautau Moga continues his rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction and will join the squad for training in November. Slade Griffin is confident of returning from his knee injury in the second half of the 2019 season. Jacob Saifiti (shoulder) is expected to be fine for pre-season training in November.
New signing Blake Ferguson suffered a broken fibula while playing for the Roosters in the grand final. He will soon begin a three-year deal with the Eels.
Daniel Alvaro and Nathan Brown (both knee) were injured late in the season but are in no doubt for the start of the summer campaign. Peni Terepo, Will Smith (both hamstring), Josh Hoffman (shoulder) and Manu Ma'u (cheekbone) are also expected to be fit for training in early November.
Kaysa Pritchard underwent shoulder surgery at season's end and is on track for a round one return.
James Maloney has been ruled out of Australia's October Tests in New Zealand with a persistent neck injury that will require fusion surgery. Maloney told NRL.com at the Dally M awards it is expected to be a minor procedure. Halves partner Nathan Cleary (ankle) will also go under the knife to repair ruptured ligaments in his ankle.
Isaah Yeo and Moses Leota both have shoulder issues, while Viliame Kikau (elbow) will also receive treatment after playing with ruptured tendons late in the season. Dylan Edwards is expected to commence pre-season training in November after undergoing shoulder surgery in May, while Sam McKendry is in a similar boat after rupturing his ACL.
Corey Harawira-Naera, who is joining Canterbury next season has been ruled out of the New Zealand Test against Australia due to a groin injury.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Adam Doueihi remains on crutches following an ACL reconstruction in August. He is expected to commence light running by the end of the year.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Tariq Sims faces four months of rehabilitation after tearing the meniscus in his knee during the preliminary final loss to South Sydney. Sims had surgery in late September and is expected to be on track for the club's first trial game in 2019.
Paul Vaughan is off his crutches after a serious foot injury at training but is not expected to return to training until after Christmas. Skipper Gareth Widdop underwent immediate shoulder surgery after a second dislocation against Brisbane and won't commence rehabilitation until December. Dragons teammate Jacob Host is in a similar boat but two weeks behind after undergoing shoulder surgery.
In better news for the club, Jack De Belin is expected to be fit for the opening week of the pre-season in late November after resting an ankle injury that made headlines throughout the finals series.
Roosters grand final halfback Cooper Cronk is in no danger of missing the start of the 2019 Telstra Premiership season after undergoing surgery on a fractured scapula.
Cronk played almost 80 minutes of the grand final with the injury, suffered a week earlier in the preliminary final win over the Rabbitohs, and was in a sling before and after the game.
The Roosters announced on Tuesday his surgery was successful and he will be fit for the start of next season, along with a host of clubmates who underwent off-season surgery.
Zane Tetevano (surgery on a ruptured biceps suffered in the grand final), new recruit Angus Crichton (shoulder surgery for an ongoing issue) and Lindsay Collins (minor wrist surgery) will be fit for the start of 2019.
England Test winger Ryan Hall and Wyong outside back Billy Smith each suffered a ruptured ACL during 2018 and face a delayed start to next season. Young winger Bernard Lewis missed 2018 with a ruptured ACL but will be available for the start of pre-season training.
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck underwent knee surgery in late September after being diagnosed with a medial ligament and meniscal injury. Issac Luke will miss most of the 2019 pre-season after news he requires a shoulder reconstruction. The injury will keep him out of contact training until March.
Josh Reynolds consulted doctors in Melbourne as he looks to overcome his latest shoulder injury concern. Josh Aloiai and Robbie Rochow have both had hand surgery with Aloiai expected to be fit in time for the start of pre-season.
Rochow's injury was more serious than his Wests Tigers teammate but isn't expected to miss too much of the 2019 preparations. Corey Thompson began light running in August and should be fit for pre-season training in November.