The Blues have received a selection blow ahead of game one of the State of Origin series on Wednesday, with centre Latrell Mitchell ruled out through injury.
The Rabbitohs' star missed the entire 2022 series due to injury, but had been named to start for NSW against Queensland at Adelaide Oval.
However, the Blues put out a statement on Monday saying Mitchell had a calf injury and could not play and he will be replaced by 18th man Stephen Crichton, who will start in the centres.
The Blues say Mitchell had sustained the injury during training, and that scans had confirmed a calf strain.
When Mitchell last played in Origin in 2021, he scored four tries in three games as he helped the Blues dominate for a series win.
He has scored nine tries in 12 games for South Sydney this season, and Blues coach Brad Fittler would have been hoping Mitchell could bring his strike power to the side.
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