TITANS winger David Mead faces a week or two of drinking soup and avoiding steaks after breaking his jaw in a tackle against the Canberra Raiders in the NRL at the weekend.
Mead, a former Lismore schoolboy, expects to be out for at least a month and possibly up to eight weeks, depending on how he recovers.
It's a big disappointment after his 2011 season, when he was one of the Titans' best, scoring 16 tries in a team that lost more than it won.
"I was running the ball back from my own try line and copped a shoulder to the jaw in the tackle," Mead said yesterday.
"It didn't feel good and I just thought a tooth might have popped out at the back.
"I played on for a while but the pain became worse."
The fracture happened in about the 60th minute of the game at Skilled Stadium on Saturday night and he left the field 10 minutes later.
Mead, 23, hasn't had an injury like this before, so after he had scans he was surprised when the doctor pointed out a different fracture on the top of his jaw line.
With a plate in his mouth, he is having this week off training to avoid any complications of blood rushing through the wound.
He expects to be back into weights and cardio work next week, then resume training with the team the following week.
It's been a mixed start to the season for the Titans, with an 18-0 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville followed by the 24-12 loss to the Raiders.
"The Cowboys didn't play too well, but we didn't have the same intensity against Raiders," Mead said.
"Our ball control and defence were pretty ordinary and too many of our kicks were caught on the full."
Mead is expected to be replaced in the Titans starting line-up for their home game against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night by either Beau Champion (finger) or Kevin Gordon (knee), who are aiming to return from injury.