Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says "there's a fair chance" Robbie Farah will overcome a crack in his lower leg bone and play again this season - before retiring.
The real question is when, and it's obviously not this Thursday night against Manly at Lottoland.
And it's unlikely to be round 23 against the Knights. But there's every hope it could be round 24 at the SCG against the Dragons or round 25 against the Sharks at spiritual home Leichhardt Oval.
Maguire stood in the sunshine at Leichhardt on Wednesday hypothesizing about Farah's genuine options.
"There's a fair chance," he said on whether the 300-game could take to the field within a month.
"I'd never rule Robbie out as I've spent a fair bit of time with him at a couple of clubs [South Sydney, Tigers] and seen how professional he is in the background.
"It'll be a close call towards the back end of the season. But one thing about Robbie and what we've seen over the years he'll do everything possible to play.
"He's lucky he's got a brother who is a physio – he gets 24-7 treatment from his brother and he gets everything we can do for him here."
So when the competition ends after round 25, there is always the finals. Wests Tigers are one win out of the eight, with four matches to play.
"We're alive at the moment – we're well and truly in the mix with everything that's going on in the game. Robbie can see that and the boys can as well," Maguire said.
The fact Farah has not needed surgery has added another layer of hope.
"It's just a cracked bone so the speed at which the bone repairs is the key. He's on crutches at the moment – you just take the weight off to allow it to heal," Maguire said.
Deputising at No.9 against the Sea Eagles is Jacob Liddle.
Maguire has not named another hooker on his bench so Liddle has the whole 80 minutes to impress.
"I'm really looking forward to Jacob getting out and starting. He's been really professional throughout the season," Maguire said.
"I've seen him learn a lot and get a really good understanding around the game and now it's about using it."
Liddle made his NRL debut in 2016 but has played just 37 games due to a series of injures and then Farah's return to the club in 2018.
As well as Liddle getting his opportunity, Tommy Talau, son of former Bulldogs player Willie Talau, is on debut in the centres for Moses Mbye.
"Nothing better than being able to blood a young kid that's been doing a lot of work in the background... it's really well deserved," the coach said.
"I heard Moses is meant to be out for the season but that's definitely not the case. He ran this morning. He's just a little tight through the hip flexor so we'll see how he is next week."
As for Josh Reynolds, who has been named No.6 again in Canterbury Cup this weekend, Maguire did not see him as a second rake option to help Liddle.
"It's just around the balance of our bench at the moment. 'Grubby' [Reynolds] is pretty close. He's obviously been playing, which is great and that's a real key for him – just playing games.
"He's been fantastic around the group but it's about our bench make-up at the moment."
However, Maguire will be without back-rower Luke Garner, who lost his bid at the NRL judiciary to escape a dangerous contact charge for his late hit on Bulldogs half Lachlan Lewis.
"It's disappointing there with the stance of the game, but we'll be right," Maguire said.
"I understand where the game is going but I just hope they don't go too far with it. They're trying to stamp out certain things in our game but we've been seeing Andrew Johns, Johnathan Thurston, Laurie Daley – all those great halves - be able to go to the line.
"That's what a halfback's job is, to go to the line. So I hope they don't tip too far the other way.
"I understand the protection around our players – I'm very big on that – but also, what makes our game is those little men being able to make fools out of the big men.
"So a halfback going to the line and being able to show-and-go and play is needed.
"You're talking about split seconds and the decisions around that. The speed at which the game is now and you're telling your halfbacks to go to the line all the time, well at some stage they are going to get clipped.
"I understand there's certain degrees of that. But I just hope they don't go too far the other way or all of a sudden we're playing touch football."