The immediate playing future of Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart is in doubt after the club confirmed that he would require knee surgery and is set to miss at least six weeks.
Stewart is scheduled to be operated on July 22, but the club is hopeful he could return before the end of the season.
The 31-year-old has been restricted to 11 games in 2016 and has been hampered by injuries throughout the season.
A try-scoring freak throughout his career, Stewart has only managed one this season, taking his impressive tally to 163 tries from 231 NRL appearances.
Long-time teammate Darcy Lussick spoke to 'Snake' and said the veteran fullback was in good spirits despite the latest setback.
"I've spoken to him a few times and he's doing alright. He's obviously disappointed like the rest of us," Lussick said.
"It's not ideal, but hopefully we can see him back on the field soon.
"He's a legend of this club and the things he's done for this club are just tremendous."
Fellow Sea Eagles prop Luke Burgess was optimistic when asked whether the club stalwart would return in 2016.
"Hopefully he'll make a good recovery and we might see him play some football towards the backend of the year," Burgess said.
"He's a big leader in our squad and the team obviously plays a lot better when we've got him out the back telling people what to do."
New recruit Matt Parcell also spoke highly of the man affectionately dubbed the 'Prince of Brookvale'.
"This is my first year at the club, but I've watched him for many years," Parcell said.
"He's a club legend, and to have him out [is tough]. Hopefully the surgery goes really well and we can see him again next year.
"To have him out the back [makes] you feel a lot safer."
The Sea Eagles hooker is battling an injury of his own, and while he hasn't been named for the game against the Warriors in Perth, he is expected to fly over with the rest of the squad on Thursday.
Parcell hasn't played since Round 15 and won't risk another extended layoff unless he's completely over the existing hamstring strain.
"I have to get through a bit more this week and I'll have another run tomorrow," he said.
"I'm not going to risk anything because this is the second time now that I've done it. I'd rather wait a week [for it to be 100 per cent] than push it."
Parcell also backed boom youngster Tom Trbojevic to fill the void at fullback in Stewart's stead.
The 19-year-old has been in scintillating form during his limited opportunities at the back, but is seen as the future of the club along with his brother Jake.
"He's a freak of a kid and I'm sure he'll do the job and continue to improve as the year goes on."