Penrith second-rower Isaah Yeo is hoping to be back within three weeks after opting to delay major shoulder surgery until the NRL off-season.
Yeo feared his season was over when he landed awkwardly on a hit-up in the Panthers' round-nine loss to Canberra.
However after meeting with specialists last week, Yeo is hoping a month of rehabilitation will strengthen his shoulder enough to return.
"That was my first thought, that it could be it," Yeo told AAP of the tackle.
"But I wasn't sure. It's been an ongoing injury now for a while, so I always knew at some stage I was going to have to get a reconstruction on it.
"Fortunately enough I don't have to have it straight away."
It's been a difficult season for Yeo who, before this year, had only missed one NRL game since entrenching himself in the Panthers side in early 2015.
A head knock sidelined him for a second game in round three, before the 24-year-old's latest shoulder issue forced him into a longer recovery.
The durability is a quality the Dubbo product has taken great pride in.
"It hasn't been the most fun year. Until this year, I'd only missed one," Yeo sadi.
" I only played 10 games my first year (in 2014), but when I started getting the streak along, I'd only missed one against Newcastle (in 2017), for a dodgy ankle.
"But other than that, I've been pretty lucky. I guess if you're going to have a year like this, then this'll be the year.
"At the moment I've missed two but a month here and I'll go from there. The head's been no dramas. I had all the testing and I haven't had a problem since."
Penrith, second last on the ladder, will be aiming to end a five-game losing streak when they host the Warriors at Panthers Stadium on Friday.
Australian Associated Press