A hamstring injury to Benji Marshall midway through the second half in Sunday's 22-8 loss to Canterbury has left the door open for Josh Reynolds to make a first-grade return against Penrith on Friday.
The Wests Tigers face their first of three five-day turnarounds going into their much-anticipated clash with the Panthers but Marshall is in doubt with Michael Maguire indicating Reynolds was a strong chance for a recall.
Marshall left the paddock with 15 minutes to go in Sunday's clash to compound the Tigers' woes after the Bulldogs raced out to a 22-0 lead in Campbelltown.
"He had a tight hamstring there so we'll have to have a look at that and see how he goes," Maguire said.
"I'll have to assess that now, it was fairly tight towards the end. I spoke to him and he said he wasn't quite sure.
"We'll go through the things we need to, being a short turnaround we'll have our focus on what we need to do and I'll assess the team as we go through the week."
Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Bulldogs
Reynolds suffered a nasty cork last week in his return via the Canterbury Cup and wore a heavy guard on his leg for most of Sunday's loss to the Bulldogs.
Maguire said the playmaker was a ready-made replacement if Marshall was ruled out.
"That's part of what makes good clubs, you've got to have good players waiting. Full credit to Josh, I know that if he gets his opportunity this week he'll be ready to go," Maguire said.
"He's been performing well in reserve grade."
The Tigers had no answers for a slick Bulldogs outfit on Sunday afternoon with Dean Pay's men completing at 89% with just four errors in a clinical display after back-to-back loss to start the season.
After going into the clash as heavy favourites following their 2-0 start to the season, Maguire said it was a reality check for his side, who lacked patience and execution with the ball.
"We've still got a lot to do. There's big improvements in this group and certain individuals have shown what their capable of in the previous two weeks," Maguire said.
"If we want to be a club to go to the heights we want we've got to do that consistently.
"The good teams continually find ways to win."
Wests Tigers back-rower Ryan Matterson believed the short turnaround would work in the side's favour ahead of Friday night's clash with Penrith.
Marshall's injury isn't the only concern for the joint venture with Luke Garner leaving the ground with ice on his shoulder after a collision with Kieran Foran earlier in the game.
Garner returned in the second half to score the side's first try but requires scans.