Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson won't rush the return of Boyd Cordner with the club looking to manage his workload throughout the season.
Cordner, who posed with 15 other captains at the NRL launch last week, was left out of Robinson's squad for the trip to Penrith on Saturday night.
The omission came after Cordner was rested for the World Club Challenge and pre-season fixtures in February.
Cordner battled calf and quad injuries towards the end of the Roosters' push for back-to-back titles last season – finishing on 19 games out of a possible 27 for the year, while he has long dealt with chronic knee issues.
Add in the taxing State of Origin series and Tests with the Kangaroos and Robinson reiterated his stance with Cordner at the launch of the Rugby League Coaches Association on Wednesday.
"It's the same as the World Club Challenge [situation]," Robinson said.
"We're going to take the extra bit of time to get his body fully prepared for an NRL and representative season."
The looming arrival of Josh Morris in round three could also ease the blow of losing Cordner at times during the season with makeshift centre Angus Crichton expected to return to the pack once the veteran Shark arrives to play alongside his twin, Brett, in the backs.
"It's a benefit for our club that we're getting another Morris that we know quite well," Robinson said.
"It's a positional need for us and we're looking forward to that taking place when it gets finalised."
Robinson was in Moore Park to launch the newly formed coaches' association on behalf of his NRL clipboard comrades.
In similar vein to the RLPA, it aims to offer support and professional development to leading NRL coaches, assistants and pathway staff.
Mal Meninga was announced as chairman of the RLCA with Kelly Egan appointed CEO.
Neil Henry, Cynthia Gillespie, Stefanee Lovett and sports lawyer Tim Fuller were named on the board of directors.
"It's nice to know that someone's going to be there to look after you," Robinson said.
"We all have our individual voices that look after our clubs but now we can have a collective voice for the betterment of the game.
"That's really important and why we're standing here with the NRL to say we want our game to be better and feel like we can add value through the coaches' associations."
Henry, who has been part of the push to form an association for coaches since 2017, said the need was felt across the board.
"Coaches have talked about it for three or four years now but it's only been about the last 24 months to get the ball rolling," the former Raiders, Cowboys and Titans coach said.
"There can be things like career transitions, at the moment we see when personnel changes occur at clubs there's no real welfare provided.
"Particularly for assistant and emerging coaches, when there's changes at the top sometimes there be changes to staff underneath as well. So we're certainly looking at some protection there and a bit of legal advice.
"The AFL have been the leaders in this space for a while now."