Todd Payten's has had his bid to bring back Poasa Faamausili rejected by the Roosters, per The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Warriors hoped that the Sonny Bill Williams' NRL return would work in their favour as they aim to push for finals footy.
Williams will be preparing to make his comeback against the Raiders on Saturday night as Faamausili makes way for his return. Faamausili played four matches while on loan with the Warriors earlier this season.
Payten was only able to name 20 players for the Warriors crucial game against the Eels at the Central Coast on Sunday, having also hinted that "it won't be long" before he's announced as the Cowboys coach.
The Eels also put a line through loan players Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings running out for the Warriors after they made a subtle enquiry to bring back Faamausili for their finals push.
"We spoke to the Roosters about potentially getting Po back this weekend," Payten said. "He was going to be a short-term [solution] – possibly this week or maybe next week – but it didn't eventuate. As for any other club, we're always looking. We're going to have to if something goes horribly wrong."
The Warriors used staff members in opposition training to make up numbers as Payten admitted to modifying his side's preparation to reduce the risk of injuries.
"As for any other club, we're always looking. We're going to have to if something goes horribly wrong."
The Warriors are only four points outside the eight with four games left and if the club manages to play finals they could be part of one of the great underdog stories.
The play-offs will begin five months after they left New Zealand to ensure the competition could continue following the COVID-19 suspension.
"I'm not someone that's just going to stop thinking [about finals], but I'm not going to talk about it with the players," Payten said. "I don't want to stop them thinking of it either.
"I'm just going to keep the boys relaxed and whatever happens I'm just going to let them run with it. We're playing some pretty good footy at the moment and I just want to make sure we keep going that way.
"There's been some days in the past where the rehab group has been larger than the group on the park, but it was more a management type of thing. On the whole where we're at the moment with a total of 20 [fit players] ... I can't recall one like that."
On-loan Penrith forward Jack Hetherington could return from suspension to face the Sharks next weekend, potentially dictating a Warrior's finals birth. Payten has willed his side into a late-season finals dash with his team winning four out of their past five games.
"We definitely have to win this week and then we're playing Cronulla the following week," Payten said. "They're the team we need to peg back."
The Warriors announced the signing of outside back Peta Hiku on a one-year extension following a form resurgence, with Payton insisting the positive form has been due to his family joining the biosecurity bubble on the Central Coast.