Penrith five-eighth Tyrone May has been given time away from the club in the interest of his welfare after he became the latest NRL player involved in a lewd video being leaked.
Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher told Channel 9 on Saturday that the utility was the player at the centre of the NRL Integrity Unit's investigation and had been withdrawn from the squad for Saturday's trial loss to the Eels.
The 21-year-old will be permitted to continue training with his teammates as the investigation continues.
Penrith succumbed to a dour 20-0 defeat to round-one opponents Parramatta in their trial at Panthers Stadium.
The club has issued an apology to members, fans and sponsors over the two videos under investigation, vowing to assist the Integrity Unit since the matter came to light late on Friday.
Coach Ivan Cleary, in the home coach's box at Panthers Stadium for the first time since his return to the club, was tight-lipped when asked about May after full-time.
Match Highlights: Panthers v Eels
"It's in the hands of the integrity department", Cleary said.
"I'm sure they'll do a good job and hopefully get a resolution quickly".
The game's latest off-field incident came just hours after NRL CEO Todd Greenberg handed down a series of sanctions on Friday concerning off-field behaviour and salary cap indiscretions.
In fining Dylan Napa 10% of his salary for a series of embarrassing videos leaked via social media, Greenberg warned "any similar behaviour filmed and date-stamped from today will attract much more severe sanctions, including suspensions".
NRL.com understands that the two videos involving May were filmed approximately nine months ago.
While Penrith have NSW Origin pair James Maloney and Nathan Cleary ahead of May in their playmaking stocks, the versatile youngster had been considered a frontrunner for a bench utility role in Penrith's first choice 17.
With Tyrone Peachey moving north to the Gold Coast, May offers cover in the halves, at lock and hooker in a pinch – with Cleary believed to prefer carrying a utility rather than a second hooker on the bench.
Starting No.9 Sione Katoa was one of Penrith's better performers in the loss to Parramatta, and appears to have edged his way ahead of highly rated youngster Wayde Egan for a round one return bout with the Eels.
Cleary said he was undecided on his first-choice rake, along with a replacement for injured big man Viliame Kikau, with Jack Hetherington taking up his left edge role on Saturday night.
"That's just another spot I've got to have a look at," Cleary said of his No.9 contenders.
"Both those guys have put their hand up, I'm not prepared to say which way I'll go yet.
"There's definitely a few little headaches there. I've got a few options so after I sit back and look at tonight's game and see how everyone pulls up".