Penrith coach Ivan Cleary conceded stars Josh Mansour and Reagan Campbell-Gillard have no time frame for a return to first grade after the pair paid the price for the side's woes with demotions this week.
Two of the highest-paid players at the club, Mansour and Campbell-Gillard re-signed on long-term deals last season but have experienced the highs and lows over the past 12 months with injuries and form derailing their performances.
Mansour's running game has slumped to a career low average of 140.9 metres per game, while he's only crossed the line once in eight appearances.
Campbell-Gillard hasn't cracked the 100-metre barrier all season and has struggled with the form that led to him making his Holden State of Origin debut 12 months ago.
Cleary saw the pair, along with fullback Caleb Aekins as the casualties to come out of the embarrassing loss to Wests Tigers last week.
"I certainly don't do it lightly but also don't like to talk about it individually but clearly felt the need to make some changes," Cleary said on Friday.
"They're obviously good players, that's not going to change. There's no timeline on [their return].
"We're not playing well enough and haven't been over a bunch of weeks. You've got to make a decision on what you think is best."
Panthers skipper James Tamou, who hasn't experienced a victory since taking on the sole leadership role in round six, thought he was lucky to survive the axe.
He backed his teammates to bounce back after Cleary confirmed the pair would play for the Canterbury Cup NSW side on Saturday.
"We knew it was coming, after the game I mentioned it, put my hand up for dishing a performance like that," Tamou said.
"He's made himself clear no one is safe. In saying that for Josh and Reg, it might be what they need to get them back to where we know they're capable of.
"I know it will hurt them but I think it will be a good thing, they'll find a spark and come back to a place they need to be.
"It's never nice to be in the position we're in but knowing them they'll want to get their drive back and play their best footy."