NRL Rd 1 - Eels v Titans
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Sean Russell of the Eels looks on after scoring his second try during the round one NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Gold Coast Titans at CommBank Stadium, on March 13, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Parramatta Eels winger Sean Russell is set to return to the NRL in the coming weeks, completing a miraculous recovery from fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The injury, which occurred in Round 1 when Jayden Campbell's knees made contact with his side in the act of scoring a try - his third of the day in just the 33rd minute of the contest - saw Russell hospitalised for the best part of a week.

The club provided an update yesterday which suggested Russell's injury recovery is progressing well, and that he will be back on the field somewhere between Rounds 8 and 10.

It means the young winger, who has only played three NRL games but already has five top-grade tries to his name - may only miss another two games before returning.

The Eels play the Wests Tigers and Newcastle Knights in the next fortnight as they look to extend their four and one start to the season, before taking on the North Queensland Cowboys, Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters during Magic Round, the latest possible date for Russell's possible return according to the club.

Russell was parachuted into the Parramatta side for the opening match of the season after Haze Dunster suffered a season-ending ACL, PCL and MCL injury during the pre-season trials.

It left Parramatta with Dunster out for the season, and Maika Sivo still recovering from his own ACL injury, with only the late off-season signing of Bailey Simonsson providing the club with a suitable option on the wing.

NRL Rd 8 - Eels v Cowboys

The injury to Russell meant Parramatta shifted Waqa Blake out to the centres, bringing Tom Opacic into the side.

Blake has now suffered his own knee problem - an MCL injury which will leave him out for "an extended period of time" according to the club.

Coach Brad Arthur, at the bottom of the barrel, has brought forward Marata Niukore into the centres for Monday's clash with the Tigers, shifting Will Penisini out to the wing, with the club also confirming that young gun Solomone Naiduki was unavailable for selection as he battles a hamstring strain.

The only other players on Parramatta's roster who could play in the outside backs are Samuel Loizou and Hayze Perham.

Despite the carnage in the outside backs, the blue and gold have started the season in excellent form, winning four of five games, including a victory over the Melbourne Storm, and scoring 150 points in five games at 30 per contest.