Queensland superstar Greg Inglis is hoping to miss just a fortnight of action, but is confident South Sydney can maintain their spot atop the NRL ladder should his absence be extended.
Inglis moved to ease concerns of Rabbitohs fans who feared their dreams of a shot at a long-awaited premiership had been dashed by injury for the second year running.
A big reason why Souths are four points clear at the head of the table, Inglis underwent scans on his right knee today, after damaging his posterior cruciate ligament in Queensland's Origin series win over NSW.
The initial diagnosis by Queensland medical officials had been for a layoff of up to eight weeks, but Inglis has his sights set on a round-21 return against North Queensland in just over two weeks.
''We'll wait (to see) what the diagnosis is. At the moment, it's probably not looking too good,'' Inglis said.
''Eight weeks is probably a bit far-fetched - hopefully it's only two to three.
''It's probably a good thing. I'll get to rest up there and be able to be fit and ready in a few more weeks.''
A fit and firing Inglis would be a welcome boost for Souths heading into the finals, as they attempt to end a 42-year premiership drought. It would also keep Inglis' hopes of snaring the Dally M medal alive, with the devastating fullback just one vote off the lead when voting went behind closed doors after round 16.
But even if he is forced to miss more time, Inglis is confident the Rabbitohs can maintain their high-flying ways.
''We're in a position where all our players are healthy and fit - I've got no question about whoever goes back there can get the job done,'' he said.
''They've shown that throughout the Origin period.''
South Sydney's fairytale run during last year's finals campaign came to a virtual halt when halfback Adam Reynolds suffered a hamstring injury 14 minutes into their preliminary final loss to Canterbury.
The Rabbitohs would be loath to rush back their star custodian, given the way Melbourne fullback Billy Slater struggled to find his best when he returned ahead of schedule from the same injury at the back end of last season.
Winger Nathan Merritt shapes as the obvious fill-in at fullback, with Justin Hunt another option for coach Michael Maguire.
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