Greg Inglis' South Sydney teammates have rubbished rumours about his immediate NRL playing future after the Rabbitohs skipper was granted a week's leave.
After being absent for the last fortnight, Inglis will miss Saturday's match with the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast because of a niggling shoulder problem and a virus.
After being forced to stay away from training last week because of a bout of food poisoning, coach Wayne Bennett gave him this week off to recover.
The champion centre has missed his side's last two games and it was this week reported that club management was having conversations about his future.
His pre-season was limited because of neck surgery and a recurrence of a knee complaint, which led to rumours about his weight and fitness.
He has announced plans to retire at the end of next year however there has been growing speculation he will not see out his contract.
Souths hooker Damien Cook said it would be foolish to write off the Queensland and Australian ace.
"I'd tell them (critics) to come watch training and how good he is and how much footy he still has left in him," Cook told AAP when asked about Inglis' doubters.
"We haven't played our best footy yet so that hasn't quite brought him into the game. He did well to come back from his knee injury so soon.
"He'll be flying before we know it. We'll have him where we need him at the end of the year instead of busting him through games and on painkillers or trying to cover up his shoulder."
Kyle Turner has been named to play in the centres, filling the role Jacob Gagan took on last week against Manly.
Warriors hooker Issac Luke (hamstring) is a chance to make his return against his former side after being named on an extended bench.
Meanwhile, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has moved out-of-form Dylan Edwards from fullback to the wing, with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to wear the No.1 against Gold Coast on Friday.
Brisbane will blood highly-touted rookie forward Patrick Carrigan in their clash with Wests Tigers on Thursday.
The Broncos have named Payne Haas as a reserv although he is likely to come into Anthony Seibold's 17-man squad in what will be his return from suspension.
Manly's Brendan Elliot will deputise in the No.1 for Tom Trbojevic, with Moses Suli earning a recall for Saturday's clash with Newcastle.
Cronulla look set to receive a boost with Shaun Johnson (quad) and Paul Gallen (ribs) listed to take on the Sydney Roosters, who have named Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (ribs) for their Saturday night showdown at Shark Park.
Ofahiki Ogden will start in place of Dylan Napa (ankle) against St George Illawarra on Sunday.
Canberra have named Joseph Tapine (thumb) in their side to face Parramatta on Sunday while playmaker Aidan Sezer (abdominal) could yet be a late inclusion.
Australian Associated Press