Trent Merrin could miss up to a month of football after suffering a suspected grade-two AC joint injury in his first touch in State of Origin III.
He had his arm in a sling at Brisbane airport on Thursday and scans scheduled the next day will determine the extent of damage.
The St George Illawarra forward battled through the pain to ensure NSW weren't a man short during Wednesday's loss.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor, also the Blues trainer, marvelled at Merrin's courage and hoped the injury wouldn't sideline one of his star players for a lengthy period.
"They are talking about a grade-two AC. That could be anything from one week to four but we will know when we get the scans," McGregor said.
"[It happened] first tackle. Daly (Cherry-Evans) did a wrestling throw and he felt the bone go in and out.
"He said 'I think I did my shoulder' and I said to give it to half-time. He got through to then, they had a look at it and strapped it up and got himself back out there for the second half."
The commitment Merrin showed was compared to the efforts of Josh Morris and Anthony Watmough, who played on despite severe injuries in Game I.
"That arena brings out the best of you," McGregor said.
"Seeing the scenes in the first two Origins, it's a pretty brutal arena. A few blokes just push the bodies through the extremes. Post-game it's always worse than in games."