South Sydney fans were given an early Easter treat with Adam Reynolds named on an extended bench for the Rabbitohs' clash with Manly on Saturday evening.
The 26-year-old was expected to miss four weeks with appendicitis but is in contention to return earlier than anticipated.
It would be a massive boost after the Bunnies were well beaten by the Wests Tigers in Round 1, with the club clearly missing their halfback's composure in the clutch moments.
Reynolds got through light duties on Monday but must complete contact work on Wednesday afternoon if he is to be considered for the trip to Lottoland.
His teammates gave absolutely nothing away when asked whether Reynolds would play this weekend.
"We haven't even trained yet today so I guess we'll see how we goes out on the paddock. He's a massive part of our side and brings so much to the field so hopefully we do [see him on Saturday]," Angus Crichton said.
Teammate Damien Cook was next cab off the rank when asked about his availability.
"I dunno, we'll have to see," Cook said of the halfback. "He did a little bit of passing around the field. It'd be great to have Reynolds back, but if not, we had to deal with that in Round 1 and we'll deal with it again."
Robbie Rochow added: "I'm not sure. I'm not qualified to comment on his status. I'm sure he'll test himself today and the medical staff will make a call after that."
It was left to Zane Musgrove to give us the scoop, but he played it with a straight bat.
"He'd be a great addition. Reyno's kicking game and what he can do with the ball is good for us. We'll find out at training this arvo," Musgrove said.
The issue of Reynolds's availability has been magnified following confirmation superstar fullback Greg Inglis would miss the next six months after suffering an ACL injury during the Round 1 loss.
His absence opens the door for Alex Johnston to wear the No.1 jersey – something he is keen to do on a permanent basis down the track – while former Panthers NYC star Braidon Burns has been named to make his NRL debut after impressing with a double in the Charity Shield.
Damien Cook conceded it was a blow to lose Inglis, but the dynamic dummy-half backed his teammates to get the job done.
"It's a massive loss, not just to our team but obviously to the game. We've got to move past that straightaway, as bad as it was," Cook said.
"I've got full confidence in Alex Johnston. He'll go straight back there and he's played a lot of fullback, so he's very experienced. It's also a great opportunity for Braidon Burn to come in after his form in the Charity Shield."
This article first appeared on NRL.com
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