Michael Maguire rates Robbie Farah a "fair chance" of overcoming the odds and playing at least one more NRL game for his beloved Wests Tigers.
Farah will miss Thursday's pivotal clash with Manly and could be out for the rest of the season after fracturing part of his tibia in last week's loss to Canterbury.
It would be a crushing end for the 35-year-old Farah, who has decided to call time on his decorated career at season's end.
The Tigers, who are one point behind eighth-placed Brisbane entering the Sea Eagles match, have just four games remaining to sneak into the finals.
And Maguire is confident Farah will be back on the field in that time.
"Obviously he's going to do everything possible to get himself back. It'll be a close call towards the back end of the season," Maguire said on Wednesday.
"But one thing about Robbie, and what we've seen over the years, he'll do everything possible to get back out here and play."
While Farah's status remains in doubt, Maguire is confident skipper Moses Mbye could be ready to return from his hip flexor injury as early as next week.
There were fears Mbye could miss the remainder of the campaign.
"I heard there that he's in doubt for the season but that's definitely not the case. He ran this morning but it's just a little tight through the hip flexor," he said.
"So, we'll see how he is next week."
But all eyes are on the progress of Farah, who has yet to miss a game for the Tigers since making a dramatic return to the club midway through last season.
While there are fears he may now have played his last game, Maguire refuses to believe that the former NSW State of Origin star will concede defeat.
Farah is understood to have sought out numerous specialists, while also getting round-the-clock treatment from brother, and South Sydney physio, Eddie.
"With Robbie, there's a fair chance (he'll return)," Maguire said.
"I would never rule Robbie Farah out. I've spent a fair bit of time through a couple of clubs and I've just seen how professional he is in the background."
Farah's absence means Jacob Liddle will wear the No.9 jumper at Brookvale Oval, while Chris McQueen is likely to come in for the suspended Luke Garner.
The Tigers will debut 19-year-old centre Tommy Talau, the first player born since 2000 - the year Balmain and Wests Tigers merged - to pull on the strip.
Victory for fifth-placed Manly will keep them in the hunt for a top four spot, while a defeat could result in being overtaken by Parramatta.
The Sea Eagles are without Brad Parker and Curtis Sironen due to injury, with Brendan Elliot and Jack Gosiewski taking their place in the line-up.
STATS THAT MATTER
* The Tigers have won their past four over the Sea Eagles, all by ten or more points.
* Manly have won their past three at Lottoland, all by at least 12 points, and are aiming to score at least 30 points for the fourth straight game for the first time since 2005.
* Manly lead the league with 12.7 offloads per game.
Australian Associated Press