Panthers players remain hopeful injured teammate Nathan Cleary can make a miracle return for the Origin decider but are backing James Maloney and Jarome Luai to maintain Penrith's strong form in his absence.
Cleary rolled his ankle in the first half of the Blues' series-levelling 38-6 win at Optus Stadium on Sunday night with scans revealing a lateral ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for three-to-four weeks.
"It is disappointing; it's one of those things that happens and comes with rugby league," skipper James Tamou said of Cleary on Tuesday.
"He seems to be in pretty good spirits. To be out for that amount of time is always tough but it could have been worse.
"I hope they can do everything possible to get him back there [into Origin]. Highly doubtful [but] he will be thereabouts.
"You want him to be there to finish off the series and do well, especially after everything he's copped. He played well in game two while he was on the field. Fingers crossed he can get there but I know he'll be in and around the team."
Maloney relishes being the Blues main man in attack
Prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard was in the conversation for an Origin recall once David Klemmer was injured in game one after recently turning around some poor early-season form with a run of strong efforts for Penrith.
While Campbell-Gillard says he would have loved to have been in the team and hopes to earn a recall either this year or next, he backed his young halfback to make a miracle recovery for the decider.
"It does suck seeing one of your key players and key members of the team [injured but] I'm sure he'll do everything right to be ready," Campbell-Gillard said.
"Although he's not out there this week [against the Warriors], pushing for Origin I think he could be a chance and he's got to get everything right with that ankle.
"He'll do everything possible to be ready. Even if he goes in under a bit of a cloud I think he'll still push for it. That's just the type of player and person he is."
Tamou added that while Luai is not as much of a structured player as Cleary, Maloney could run the team while Luai would benefit from an impressive outing in Samoa's win over Papua New Guinea during Representative Round.
"He can make something from nothing and sometimes that's what you need," Tamou said.
"It was good [for him] to get the experience and build into the player he needs to be to be a full-time starter and I know that's not far off.
"All the Panther boys that played Rep played unreal but Romey [Luai] obviously scoring a try, he's a pretty confident kid anyway so I guess not much changes. For him to be playing first grade again will mean more for his career going forward."