Sydney Roosters hooker Sam Verrills underwent surgery on a semi-detached retina on Tuesday night with the freak injury set to rule him out for between one and two months.
Before undergoing a procedure that carries a small risk of losing the sight of the eye, the 22-year-old apologised to coach Trent Robinson for letting the team down.
Verrills is just two games into his return from an ACL injury that kept him sidelined for most of last year and his latest lay-off adds to an already horrific injury toll for the fourth-placed side.
"He apologised to us, that's what Sam did," Robinson said on Wednesday.
"He felt bad because he's had the stop-start start to the season and he feels like he's let the crew down.
"When you've had a lot of injuries a lot of guys feel like they're letting the team down because they want to help, but it's not their fault."
The injury happened innocuously almost a fortnight ago when Verrills started noticing blurred vision.
He then played in Saturday's 38-4 thrashing of Newcastle before noticing his vision had worsened, and was rushed into surgery on Tuesday night.
Robinson said they can't be sure where or how the retina detached because Verrills doesn't remember an incident that could have caused it.
"He had to get that glued back down to try and return all of his eye sight and get rid of the blurred vision, but also there's also the small risk of losing some partial bits there," Robinson said.
"That was one from left field we didn't see coming."
Roosters captain James Tedesco is set to return from a head knock against Parramatta on Friday night, but a slew of stars are sidelined from their best starting side.
Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins have both been ruled out for the rest of the season with ACL injuries, joining Luke Keary (ACL) in the long-term casualty ward.
Co-captain Boyd Cordner is due to return from a concussion lay-off in around round 14, with Billy Smith and Freddy Lussick also out until mid-season.
The injury to Morris is particularly concerning given the 34-year-old is off-contract with the Roosters at the end of the season and hadn't yet made a decision about playing next year.
Meanwhile, Robinson left the door open for hyped teenager Joseph Suaalii to make his NRL debut against the Eels.
The 17-year-old is in the extended squad for Friday's game and was 18th man last weekend.
"He'll play soon. That's a part of it that's why he's here - to develop," Robinson said.