Manly Sea Eagles have confirmed Dylan Walker will miss six weeks with an eye socket injury following a brawl in Saturday's win against Melbourne Storm.
A feisty encounter saw Curtis Scott sent off for punching Walker as tempers flared before Manly sealed a 24-4 NRL victory.
And subsequent scans have confirmed fears that Walker suffered a facial fracture in the clash, forcing him out of action until round 18.
Four players were sin-binned in total in the controversial match, with the NRL forced to acknowledge an error in their timekeeping as both Apisai Koroisau and Matthew Wright were allowed to return early.
They will now conduct a review of the process.
"There was a breakdown of the sin bin process during Saturday night's game," a statement read.
"As per the NRL Rules, the responsibility of timing for sin bins is held by the clubs. In this instance, there were no club-supplied sin bin operators present at the venue. As a result, the NRL ground manager – who would ordinarily monitor the process rather than manage it - was asked to assume the responsibility.
"Following initial inquiries, it has become clear that during the sin bin period the NRL ground manager was required to deal with an interchange issue requiring urgent clarification and a timekeeping error regarding the sin bin period was made.
"The Manly players were allowed back onto the field before they were scheduled to return. The mistake is unfortunate and it is regretted.
"The NRL will conduct a review of the process and will discuss measures to ensure the circumstances are not repeated."
Scott has been charged with striking following the incident and now faces a two-match ban, although he risks a third game if he contests the decision.
The 20-year-old centre released a statement on Sunday to apologise for his role in the controversy.
"While it doesn't change what happened last night, I would like to deeply apologise to my team, Manly and NRL fans for my actions," he said.
"That is not how I want to represent myself, my team or the game."
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