Manly players remain in the dark around the severity of Tom Trbojevic's cheekbone injury but are confident of pushing towards the top four without their star fullback if he's unavailable.
Mystery surrounds Trbojevic's immediate playing future after a high shot from Maika Sivo led to the fullback coming from the field during Saturday's 56-10 thrashing of Parramatta.
A recurrence of a previous facial fracture appears to have spared Manly a more severe blow but is likely to mean the gun No.1 is not risked in coming weeks.
Manly issued a statement on Sunday night to say Trbojevic's plate inserted three years ago prevented "a serious injury from occurring" but the full extent of the injury was yet to be confirmed.
"Tom has some swelling and bruising around the site. He will be given every chance to prove his fitness for next Friday night’s match against the Canberra Raiders," the statement said.
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However, NRL.com has been told the issue is believed to be a minor fracture and a recurrence of the 2018 cheekbone fracture that threatened his end-of-season Kangaroos berth before a rapid recovery from surgery.
Sea Eagles teammates were planning for life without their representative fullback on Monday.
"He's got a bit of swelling and bruising ... I'm not sure how long he's out for but it's going to be tough without him if he does miss the next one or two weeks, we're all prepared for it," Sea Eagles hooker Lachlan Croker said.
"We change the way we play when he's not playing. I think both our halves have been playing some good footy.
Trbojevic cleared of cheekbone fracture, but will he miss matches?
"Losing him at the back does hurt but we've got some precautions in place to get around that."
Rookie forward Kurt De Luis said Trbojevic's potential absence before the finals would give the side an opportunity to prove their finals worth without him.
"Tommy's one of the best players in the competition at the moment and we love having him in the team but we understand what needs to be done," De Luis said.
"Just because Tommy is out we don't lose track of what we want to do. We want to finish in the top four.
"I think a lot of people think without Tommy we're not the side we are but we know as a playing group with or without Tommy we're still a team to be reckoned with.
"We've had a couple of tough wins without him during the Origin period so there's no reason why we can't do it again and really prove to everyone and ourselves that it's not just the Tommy T show."
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Manly's surge up the ladder to fifth gives Des Hasler the potential luxury to keep Trbojevic on ice in coming weeks given the Sea Eagles will still start as favourites against the Raiders, Bulldogs and Cowboys.
The Sea Eagles' struggles without Trbojevic were made plain earlier this year when his absence compounded a disastrous 0-4 start to the season.
Centre Brad Parker is unlikely to be fit for the Canberra clash after his heavy concussion from the high tackle that has Ryan Matterson facing a three-week ban.
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"He's had a headache the last couple of days but is in good spirits today and it looks as though he won't be there this weekend but that's to be expected with a six-day turnaround," Croker said.
"He's had a couple of big head knocks the last couple of years but he's in pretty good spirits."
Moses Suli, who scored a quickfire double when he replaced Parker as the 18th man against the Eels, is his expected replacement, while Reuben Garrick and Dylan Walker loom as likely fullback options.