Matt Moylan's wretched run of hamstring issues has continued with fresh scans putting the Cronulla Sharks playmaker's availability for the remainder of the season in doubt.
Returning halfback Chad Townsend revealed on Tuesday that Moylan played with a grade two hamstring tear before he was dropped by John Morris last week after a lacklustre defensive performance against the Panthers in round 15.
Moylan wasn't considered for the round 16 clash with the Cowboys due to the setback with Morris opting for Connor Tracey and Braydon Trindall in the halves.
The 29-year-old has been restricted to just 19 appearances in two seasons after guiding the Sharks to the preliminary finals in 2018.
"He was probably a bit disappointed with how he played a few weeks ago but what people don't understand is Matty's facing more than just form," Townsend said.
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"He hasn't been at his best [but] Moyza played two weeks with a grade two tear in his hamstring.
"I think it was one of the most selfless things he's had to do in terms of putting himself out there and put the team first where he wasn't 100 percent fit.
"You won't hear that from Moyza, he won't tell you that, but we as teammates understand what he's trying to do for us as a team.
"I know he's putting in place some things with the rehab team to get on top of what's happened and hopefully we can see him again this season."
The Sharks have enough depth to cover Moylan in the halves with Townsend set to play the Knights on Friday after a five-week lay-off from a calf injury, while Shaun Johnson (groin) is also closing in on a return.
For Townsend, who hadn't missed a game in four seasons since returning to the club in 2016, he's relished the opportunity to spend time in the coaches' box alongside Morris as he recovered from his own soft tissue injury.
"It was the first time I was able to watch the game without playing," Townsend said.
"I've enjoyed listening to Bomber (Morris) and how he communicates with our staff and what he expects of our plays in certain situations of the game.
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"That's really opened my eyes into how the coaches work. I'm looking forward to getting back out on the field and putting those things into my own performances."
Townsend is expected to be named on Tuesday afternoon but will need to tick final fitness boxes ahead of the side's trip to Newcastle on Friday.