Tom Trbojevic is walking a State of Origin tightrope with Manly coach Des Hasler confirming his recovery time from a shoulder injury will be up to six weeks.
Manly insist they will not stand in the way of Trbojevic playing Origin for NSW, despite the superstar fullback playing just 62 minutes since June.
The 23-year-old is a certainty to be picked in the Blues' 27-man squad for the three-match series, which begins on November 4.
But being fit for the opener could present issues, with last week's blow coming six-and-a-half-weeks out from the first game in Adelaide.
Trbojevic had hoped last week he could return inside a month, but Hasler warned on Saturday the recovery time was expected to be slightly longer.
"It's anywhere from five to six weeks," Hasler said.
"It's also how he responds to it as well. It's not easy, he hasn't been able to play a lot of games. So that's a consideration (for NSW).
"But they've got time, so we'll just have to watch this space.""
NSW coach Brad Fittler has downplayed concerns about Trbojevic's lack of match time, noting it would be a bigger issue if he was in the forwards.
Also working in Trbojevic's favour is that the Sea Eagles and NSW share the same doctor in Nathan Gibbs, while there will two-and-a-half weeks in camp before the opener.
Trbojevic played just two matches in two-and-a-half months before scoring a hat-trick for NSW in Perth in Game II last year.
The Blues also face something of a shortage in the centres.
While Jack Wighton is certain to play one side, Kotoni Staggs suffered a ruptured ACL in Brisbane's season-ending loss to North Queensland.
Latrell Mitchell is also out for the season, while veteran Josh Morris has ruled out a second Origin comeback in as many years.
St George Illawarra's Zac Lomax or South Sydney's Campbell Graham could loom as young bolters for the centre position in the extended squad.
Australian Associated Press