Wade Graham is physically fit to face the Sea Eagles on Sunday but he's still a chance of missing the Sharks home game, with his partner Karianne Lafrance due to give birth to their first child.
A groin injury the second-rower suffered in round 19 wasn't worth risking last round against Brisbane, who came away with a slim two-point win (12-10) over Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium.
Graham has missed seven games this season due to injury but the 27-year-old says he's not lost any confidence and is determined to get back out on the field.
"The missus is still due, she hasn't given birth yet. She was due on Saturday so she's running a bit over time but we will see how we go in the next couple of days," Graham said.
"I was disappointed to miss last week's game. I was close to playing against Brisbane but with the year I've had and as the injuries kept on recurring it was better to be put on ice for one week and be 100 per cent for this week.
"I'm in a good state of mind and I'm feeling really fresh physically and mentally, so hopefully that's all behind me and I can play these last five games heading into the finals."
Sharks v Sea Eagles - Round 21
Josh Dugan, who hasn't played a game since round 12 against Newcastle after suffering a stress fracture in his leg, is also likely to return for Sunday's match against the Sea Eagles.
With five club games until the NRL finals, teammate Luke Lewis said the Sharks were eager to finally run out with a full-strength side.
"He's been back with us since Monday and has trained pretty hard," Lewis said of Dugan.
"We have a big night tonight [training] and when he gets through that we'll see how he's travelling.
"We'll have pretty much a full squad - the key for us is now to stay injury-free and really start to get some momentum leading into the end of the season."
Manly have won seven of their last eight meetings with Cronulla, which leaves Lewis to believe their clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium will be no walk in the park, despite the Sea Eagles coming off three consecutive losses and lying 14th on the Telstra Premiership ladder.
"For some reason we don't play our best footy against Manly so we really need to knuckle down in the next couple of days and nail our preparation," Lewis said.
"We need to turn up on Sunday with a real semi-final mentality.
"Last week against Penrith they [Manly] were probably the better side for 66 minutes of the game, it was just that last 14 minutes where they sort of switched off a bit.
"But they will come here with a different focus this weekend. It's going to be a big task for us and I think after coming off a few tough loses their mentality will be to come here and play for 80 minutes."