South Sydney captain Greg Inglis has been granted a week's leave by the club to help overcome a virus and ongoing shoulder issue.
Inglis is unlikely to play in Saturday's clash against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast after a troubled start to the year was compounded by an illness that has kept him away from the playing group over the past week.
NRL.com reported on April 2 that Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett was concerned for the long-term welfare of the 32-year-old, who has announced plans to retire in 2020.
Inglis' fitness was a talking point in the opening rounds of the year after he returned to training in the summer heavier than his usual playing weight.
Burgess: Inglis' welfare the priority
The Maroons skipper had neck and shoulder surgery over the break. He also faced court on drink-driving charges in February.
Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess told NRL.com on Tuesday his Rabbitohs teammate needed some space away from the game.
"He's not been well last week into this week," Burgess said.
"The shoulder has been giving him grief. We've given him the week off. Greg's a busy man and in Sydney you can get a bit consumed.
"He's not been great the last three to four days so we've given him a bit of time."
Burgess said the interest and scrutiny around one of the biggest stars in the game had gone overboard.
"I just care about Greg and don't care about the hype around it," Burgess said.
Kimmorley concerned for GI
"I care about Greg as a person and feel there's pressure put on him externally. He's just getting his body right at the moment.
"I just think everyone step back a little bit and give him some time."