Manly Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold has provided an update on Josh Schuster and Matt Lodge ahead of the beginning of the 2024 NRL season.

Set to be awarded a Top 30 contract with the club, Lodge is returning from a ruptured ACL in the right knee and was originally meant to make his comeback at the backend of the upcoming season.

However, Seibold has revealed in an updated timeline that Lodge will instead be available between Round 6 and Round 8. Despite not travelling to Las Vegas, he will continue his recovery and training at Brookvale Oval.

“Matthew has passed his pinch ready test which is a test for returning athletes from an ACL reconstruction,'' Seibold told Manly Media.

“He is still looking to be available somewhere between round six and round eight.

"Matthew has shown some really good signs and is running well. We will reintroduce him to basic skills on our return from Las Vegas."

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Josh Schuster of the Sea Eagles looks to pass as he is tackled by Tyrell Sloan of the Dragons during the round 18 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium, on July 16, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Alongside Lodge, Seibold has provided an injury update on Josh Schuster, confirming that he will not participate in the Round 1 opening match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allegiant Stadium.

Revealed on the weekend that he wouldn't travel to Las Vegas with the rest of the squad on Wednesday to get more game time after not competing in their first trial match, he was reportedly racing the clock for Round 1 but this has since changed.

“The medical staff has said that due to ongoing tightness, that medically we're not comfortable having him return to play and that we want to take a more conservative approach,'' Seibold added.

“Josh is only 21 days post initial calf strain, so we won't take him to Las Vegas.

“We will leave him here hoping that he will return in the near future with the expectation that he will be playing again from round two.”

Schuster's off-season has been marked by challenges, including a bout of chickenpox and a niggling calf injury, putting significant strain on the side who have been forced to train without him.

Recognised as one of the NRL's most talented players on his day, Schuster will transition back to the second-row this season after a stint at five-eighth marred by injuries and the signing of former Wests Tiger Luke Brooks.

Schuster is committed to Manly until the end of the 2027 season on a contract valued at $800,000 per season.