PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Joseph Suaalii of the Roosters looks dejected after the Roosters were defeated by the Pamthers during the round 15 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium, on June 18, 2021, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Roosters young gun Jospeh Suaalii is no guarantee to feature for his side's opening clash against Newcastle next week as he continues to nurse a foot injury.

The teenage sensation played five games last season in a debut campaign for the Tr-Colours after famously switching from South Sydney.

Both injury and form limited Suaalii's exposure, with setbacks set to hinder his hopes of running out onto the SCG to begin his second season with the Chooks.

The 18-year-old remains unsure on his exact return date, but the Roosters' Round 1 clash with the Knights is set to see Suaalii unnamed as he looks to overcome the same foot injury that curtailed his 2021 season.

“I haven’t got a time frame yet, but I know I will be back in the early rounds,” Suaalii told Fox Sports.

“I’m just being patient with my recovery and I should be back in the early rounds.

“I’m back running and in full training and everything I am supposed to be doing, but I’m just giving myself time to get my body right and come back for the season ready to go.”

Suaalii won't be the only Rooster unavailable for Trent Robinson to begin the year, with rake Sam Verrills serving his suspension, while young playmaker Sam Walker will need to prove his fitness after suffering a head knock in last week's trial match.

Once Suaalii makes his return, his place in Robinson's 17 is still no certainty, with the exciting youngster having to compete with both new and familiar faces for positions across the backline.

Off-season recruits Kevin Naiqama and Paul Momirovski are set to contend for outside backs duties, while incumbent duo Daniel Tupou and Joey Manu will command their places on the wing and at centre respectively.

Naturally a fullback, Suaalii will need to bide his time before donning the No.1 jumper, with superstar James Tedesco set to hold onto the reigns while Manu also stakes his claim for the role.

Suaalii prides himself on his capabilities to play multiple positions however, a trait he will continue to hone this year.

“To be honest I am not really fussed where I play,” he added.

“At training I train everywhere. I try to fit in where I’m needed, so I’m happy wherever Robbo puts me.”

The Roosters will endure a difficult fortnight following their Round 1 clash with Newcastle, facing the Sea Eagles at home in Round 2 before a trip to Accor Stadium in their clash with rivals South Sydney.