Panthers playmaker Te Maire Martin could return to action in 2016 after receiving positive news about his shoulder injury.
An initial assessment of the fractured shoulder Martin suffered against the Sharks in Round 8 suggested he would require major surgery and his season was over.
However further scans this week revealed the shoulder capsule remains intact, despite the non-displaced bone fracture, and surgery will not be necessary.
It is a highly unusual injury but one from which Martin, with proper rehabilitation, should make a full recovery.
The 20-year-old is expected to begin his rehab program later next month, with hopes of returning to the field in September.