Warriors captain Tohu Harris is back in full contact training and is set to return in the next couple of weeks.
Providing an update on his fitness on Friday, Harris said he is in unrestricted training and only has a couple more boxes to tick before being picked in first grade – which could be as early as round nine, but will more likely be a week or two after that.
"It's pretty soon; there's still things I need to tick off and make sure I get a certain amount of time of full training in," Harris said.
"I'm back into full training so there's no restrictions or anything, it's full contact, full go. I've just got to get time under my belt doing that to tick the last box. Whenever I get that tick I'm not too sure, I've got another check up with the surgeon at some point over the weekend or early next week.
"My aim is sooner rather than later but I've got to make a couple of people happy and feel a bit safe about it."
Harris completely ruled out appearing for the Kiwis in the upcoming mid-season Test, and conceded the balance between wanting to get back to help the team and not coming back too early was a tough one – especially in light of the huge Anzac Day loss to the Storm.
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"It was hard to see all the people you've spent three years with and you go through long hard days of pre-season and working hard with each other so not being able to do anything to help them and seeing them go through that pain was really hard to watch from the sidelines," he said.
"I can't wait to get out there and try and help wherever I can and go through the highs and lows of footy with those guys."
He said the team will be looking for a big bounce back this week at their adopted home ground against a Raiders side languishing in 15th place.
"They've got that sour taste in their mouth and they really want to put in an effort to get that taste out of their mouths," he added.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing the energy they run out with [Saturday] afternoon because the only way to get past a game like that, get past an effort we're all disappointed by is to come out, put some pride back in the jersey and work hard for your teammates.
"It's hugely important (to play well). With the disappointment of last week we need to bounce back and bounce back fast and the Raiders certainly provide a massive challenge.
"They're certainly a lot better team than where they're placed on the ladder. We can't take that into account, we just have to take into account the players they do have and how they can perform if we allow them to gain some momentum. It's going to be a huge challenge for us but one every person here is excited to jump into."
Harris was also excited to see how new recruit Daejarn Asi goes in the halves, following news Chanel Harris-Tavita has joined Kodi Nikorima and Ash Taylor in the unavailable list.
"He's had a few training sessions with us already and I've been really impressed with him," Harris said.
"He's a calm kid. There's a quiet confidence about him. He's inserted himself into the team and into the squad and been really great to be around so I'm looking forward to seeing him run out whenever he gets a chance to."