Newcastle Knights star Kalyn Ponga reportedly could be back on the field within a fortnight in what will come as a shock turn of events.
Ponga suffered a concussion during Round 2 against the Wests Tigers, and hasn't made it back onto the field since.
The fullback turned five-eighth's history with concussions means his recovery was always going to be delayed, and he flew out to Canada for specialist treatment around a fortnight ago.
It was believed Ponga could be looking at a long absence with no guarantee over his recovery, however, News Corp has now reported he could be back in a fortnight - potentially as soon as the Round 7 clash against the Penrith Panthers.
That match kicks off a difficult stretch for the Knights, with the club to take on the Panthers, North Queensland Cowboys and Parramatta Eels before heading into a bye over magic round.
The club's director of football Peter Parr told the publication that things were tracking positively for Ponga.
“Kalyn appears positive,” Parr told the publication.
“At the moment everyone seems relatively positive. We want to look at it that it's been a positive trip.
“My expectation is that he will play sooner rather than later but it would be premature for me to put a date on it. We will be guided by the medical advice.”
Parr confirmed conversations with doctors managing Ponga's return to play with the Knights would be consulted in the coming weeks, but that the club won't rush him back.
That comes despite the Knights' injury issues getting worse over the weekend, with Ponga's replacement Tyson Gamble set to miss next week's game against the New Zealand Warriors after suffering a concussion of his own during Saturday's high-scoring 32-all draw against the Manly Sea Eagles in Mudgee.
That will likely leave the Knights looking to either Phoenix Crossland, or, if he returns, Kurt Mann to play in the halves during next weekend's clash.
Ponga, who will want to push his case to be selected in Queensland's State of Origin side this year after impressing in the number one jumper last year, took to social media during the week to confirm he will "be back soon."
"To those that support me, this trip has been incredibly positive and the goal of finding more information has been achieved. I have clarity around what I need to do for my recovery but not only that, how I can improve my brain function and performance has been reassuring for me," Ponga wrote on his Instagram.
"Due to confidentiality there is information that I will keep in-house with my medical team but I am excited by the opportunity my case will provide for other athletes in a similar situation as me.
"I'll be back soon."