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.
St John's junior Yeo feared his season was over when he landed awkwardly on a hit-up in the Panthers' round-nine loss to Canberra at Wagga.
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.