Eels’ Waqa Blake sidelined by knee injury

Ed Jackson |

Parramatta’s backline injury crisis has deepened with Waqa Blake sidelined for an indefinite period due to a knee injury.

Blake came off during Saturday’s 26-20 NRL win over Gold Coast at CBUS Super Stadium, having injured his left knee then tried to play on for a period with his leg heavily strapped.

The Eels confirmed on Monday scans showed a medial collateral ligament injury and would not give a timeframe for the 27-year-old’s return.

It leaves coach Brad Arthur scrambling for outside backs ahead of the Easter Monday clash against Wests Tigers with Maika Sivo (knee), Haze Dunster (knee) and Sean Russell (lung and ribs) already sidelined.

Blake was playing at centre to cover the losses with Arthur saying before the Titans game he had two spots in his squad which he was still hoping to fill as backrowers Ryan Matterson and Bryce Cartwright both spent time in the backline during Saturday’s game.

Hayze Perham looms as the most likely replacement for the Eels to face the Tigers after the New Zealander was named 18th man against the Titans.