Jordan Kahu needs surgery to repair the eye socket he fractured in his side's win over the Roosters, but Cowboys coach Paul Green is hoping it doesn't end his season.
Kahu was forced from the field after copping an accidental elbow during his side's 15-12 win over the premiers in Gosford on Sunday.
He will be forced to sit on the sideline for Saturday night's clash with the Rabbitohs at 1300Smiles Stadium but Green remains optimistic.
"It depends on how bad they are and you don't really know that until you go in and operate but they can be only a few weeks," Green said.
"He copped that accidental elbow in the eye and unfortunately he's fractured his eye socket. He's going to get an operation Wednesday."
Green has named 20-year-old winger Murray Taulagi to make his NRL debut in Kahu's absence.
"Muzz [Taulagi] has had a bit of a disrupted season himself so I would've liked to have probably used Muzz a little bit earlier," he said.
"He had a good game for Queensland [under 20s] last week so he should be full of confidence and I'm pleased to give him a run.
"He makes pretty good decisions defensively as well so I'm excited about what he can do."
Taulagi made the switch from union to rugby league in 2017. Green has been impressed with the speed at which he has made the transition from the 15-a-side game.
"He picked it up pretty quickly and he's got a pretty good temperament. He doesn't get flustered too easy and whenever he gets asked to go up to the next level, he seems to handle it pretty well," Green said.
Michael Morgan has been named on the extended bench after that sickening concussion in Origin Wednesday, Green not wanting to take any risks on his star playmaker.
"He's got an appointment with the specialist later in the week so he'll have to get some scans and then do some tests," Green said.
"I'm not going to take any undue risks with him but obviously, he's a key player for us too so we want him out there if he can be."