Matt Moylan is still another month away from playing, but to counter that disappointment Sharks coach John Morris was delighted with rising stars Will Kennedy and Sione Katoa in Saturday night's 22-18 loss to South Sydney.
And he might get centre Bronson Xerri back next week to face the Storm.
Kennedy was almost horizontal with the ANZ Stadium turf when he sent a superb pass to a flying Katoa down the western touchline in the 65th minute for his second try.
Three minutes earlier Katoa had accepted a cut-out pass from Shaun Johnson to score his first.
"He's been outstanding for us all pre-season. I was really happy for him to start for us," Morris said.
"He's shown those sort of touches all the way coming through the juniors. He's one of the best finishers that I've seen.
Match Highlights: Rabbitohs v Sharks
"Getting that ball down in the corner – we practise that at training and he's one of the best at it."
That would seem to cement his spot in the Sharks back five with Kennedy making 129 metres, 79 of those on his kick-returns. He also had six tackle-busts and his try assist.
Fullback would seem in safe hands as Moylan battles a re-injured calf muscle.
"He's probably (returning in) round five or six hopefully," Morris said.
"He just stirred up his calf, given that it was a repeated episode it adds 25 per cent recovery time. You can't rush it.
"I was really happy with Will Kennedy so that was one positive to come out of the game."
Xerri is also expected to be cleared to play round two against the Storm after being cleared of having contracted the coronavirus.
"Thankfully it was all precautionary to get him checked. He showed flu-like symptoms at training on Thursday, so we got him checked and he's all good," Morris said.
"He'll return to training on Monday. Bronson was a little bit short with his shoulder for tonight but hopefully he's cleared with the flu and makes his return against the Storm."
Morris confirmed a second player with sniffles and a cough had been checked but did not name him.
"Yes, again precautionary but no other player apart from Bronson has been tested. Our medical staff only felt the need for Bronson to be checked," he said.
"Our club has been on the front foot with all that as with other clubs. We're trying to manage things as best we can and obviously will be guided by the protocols the NRL has put in place."
But Morris does expect to have further disruptions due to the current public health crisis.
"All we can do is keep operating under the guidelines we've given and whatever changes the NRL needs to do to help contain it, we'll just have to abide by them," he said.
"The players will just keep doing their thing until we're told differently. That means fronting up to training and it will be a different experience next week with no crowds.
"But once the players pull on that jumper and cross the white line, they're committed to their game.
"We've just got to try to protect all the players and fans, and just roll with the punches for now."