Panthers winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is set to spend six weeks on the sideline after suffering a high ankle sprain at training last week.
Specialist medical advice received on Tuesday indicates Watene-Zelezniak is likely to miss the club's opening round fixture against Parramatta Eels.
However the 22-year-old is already targeting a return to action in Round 2 against South Sydney at Panthers Stadium.
The potential absence of Watene-Zelezniak could be covered with Waqa Blake shifting to the wing, and Dean Whare and Tyrone Peachey playing in the centres.
Other Panthers outside backs in contention for an NRL berth include Christian Crichton, Caleb Aekins and Tom Eisenhuth.