Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has dubbed Shaun Lane one of his most reliable and resilient players this year as he prepares to play on Friday while potentially still under NRL investigation.
Lane has been named to take on the Titans and will fly to the Gold Coast with his teammates on Thursday afternoon following the publication of damaging images from what is believed to be Manly's Mad Monday celebrations last year.
Screenshots of the former Sea Eagles forward holding a plastic bag with a white substance, in a video he sent via a private message were published on Monday night, with the NRL's Integrity Unit investigating Lane's behaviour throughout the week.
Lane is expected to escape suspension but be hit with a five-figure fine for bringing the game into disrepute.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said on Wednesday he hopes to have the investigation finalised "before the weekend", but Arthur backed Lane to put the drama aside having stood tallest during the Eels' toughest times this season.
"The NRL and the club is dealing with it," Arthur said on Thursday.
"I've only known him since he's been at our club but all the indications to me were that, while it's not ideal for him, he'd be able to handle it."
The Eels are eyeing off a potential home final as they face the struggling Titans, having won six of their last seven games to sit sixth on the ladder.
Titans v Eels - Round 22
After arriving from Manly on a three-year deal last November, Lane looms as a key pillar in Parramatta's finals assault given the consistency he offers Arthur.
"He's someone that we can rely on to do his job every week," Arthur said.
"There's times where I've been able to put him in the middle and lift the intensity for us. He's very flexible and adaptable for us in that way.
"I probably noticed Shaun the most in that period of losing a few games on the trot, he stood out more in those games where we haven't performed as well," he said.
"And that's probably a good sign of a good player. When he does his job week-in, week-out you probably don't notice him as much when we've played really well.
"But the game's where we haven't performed he's been easily noticeable."
Arthur did not want to buy into the ongoing debate around Mad Monday celebrations after Greenberg reminded clubs and players of their responsibilities once the season ends.
"Hopefully we're not thinking about Mad Monday for a while yet," Arthur said when asked if Parramatta would permit an end-of-season blowout given Lane's dramas.