Gold Coast will be forced to ask the NRL for salary cap concessions in order to field a full team for Sunday’s clash with the Sydney Roosters.
Titans coach John Cartwright could only name 16 fit players on Tuesday for the must-win game at Allianz Stadium with forwards Mark Minichiello (eye) and Ashley Harrison (hand) out for the season.
Luke Bailey and Greg Bird were both named to make their return from injury but that pair as well as Jamie Dowling and Brad Takairangi are all facing fitness tests later in the week.
It means the club must find a back-rower from their feeder squads and get the okay from the NRL to free up the money to let them play against the Roosters.
“Like most sides, we’ve used up as much as we can use in the bottom tier (of the salary cap),” Cartwright told reporters.
“With the injuries that we have, you do get dispensation to go a bit deeper into the bottom tier. We’ll just have to wait and see who is fit and who is not.
“We probably won’t be able to make a decision until we go down on Saturday.”
The injury woes are the last thing the Titans need as they try to keep their finals hopes alive.
Sitting ninth after last weekend’s two-point loss to the Warriors, the Titans need to win at least one – if not both – of their last two games to have any hope of making the eight.
The Roosters will also be desperate to bounce back after their minor premiership push was dented in a shock loss to Cronulla on Monday night.
“It’s not an ideal situation when a side on top of the comp is down 26-0 at halftime,” he said.
“No doubt they’ll address that and they’ll come out firing for their last home game.
“All we can do is get ourselves right … we’re confident we can cause an upset,” Cartwright said.
Titans: David Mead, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamie Dowling, Anthony Don, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Ryan James, Greg Bird, Ben Ridge, Nate Myles. Interchange: David Taylor, Luke Bailey, TBC, Matt Srama.