Tyrone Peachey has backed Josh Mansour to make a successful comeback from knee surgery ahead of his anticipated return against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
After successive wins to get their season back on track, the Panthers will be able to call upon the Australian and New South Wales representative for the first time in 2017 after the winger returned to full training prior to the bye.
Peachey, who formed one of the most dynamic centre-wing combinations in 2016 with Mansour, said he was enjoying having his old partner in crime amongst the playing group.
"He's a clown. One of the funny blokes of the team," Peachey said.
"Just having him back training with the boys the past couple of weeks has been awesome and to have him back this week will be pretty good as well."
The return of Mansour comes at a vital time for the Panthers after losing Peter Wallace and Bryce Cartwright to injury.
"He's a massive influence on our team. He tops the carries every week he plays and gets the most metres almost every time he plays," Peachey said.
"He’s had a good rehab, he's looking bigger and better than last year and I think you're going to see the influence he has on the team straight away.
"He's just a beast."
On Wallace and Cartwright, Peachey spoke glowingly about their contributions to the side but backed their replacements to step up.
"They're two massive parts of our team and Wally has almost been our best player every week," Peachey said.
"It's hard to replace him (Wallace) but Reiny (Mitch Rein) has played a lot of first grade and I think he'll do the job this week."