The NRL has given Penrith Panthers outside back Taylan May the green light to return in Round 1 as he looks to take the vacant spot in the backs left by Stephen Crichton.

Despite receiving a suspension in 2022 for two games, the NRL has deemed that he served the two-match ban while injured, per News Corp.

This means he has been given the green light to make his much-awaited return to the NRL in Round 1. Missing the 2022 Grand Final due to a hamstring injury, the NRL allowed him to take up the ban at the start of last season.

His injury woes continued in 2023 as he ruptured his ACL in last year's World Club Challenge against St Helens RLFC, ruling him out of the entire season and the club's third consecutive premiership.

His absence from the first-grade set-up saw Sunia Turuva take over on the wing, and with both he and New South Wales Blues State of Origin winger Brian To'o set to continue into 2024 with the men from the foot of the mountains, there were questions around how the backline would shape up.

That is only added to by the fact that Stephen Crichton is on his way out of the club, with the star signing a deal to join the Canterbury Bulldogs from the start of the 2024 campaign.

However, May revealed that instead of playing on the wing like the last time he played in the NRL, he wants to play in the centres, effectively replacing Crichton.

“It's no secret that I want to play in the centres,” May told The Western Weekender.

“I don't see myself as a winger anymore. Obviously, if I have to play there I will, but I see myself more as a centre anyways. I feel like I can do more there.”