Penrith's early season ambitions may have taken a blow after forward Hame Sele suffered a suspected broken forearm in their round-one NRL loss to Parramatta.
Ivan Cleary's anticipated return to the Panthers was spoiled by a mistake-riddled defeat in the wet against their western Sydney rivals on Sunday.
However the anticlimax was compounded by fears that Sele could be sidelined for up to eight weeks, having lasted just 19 minutes in his club debut.
"Initial diagnosis throughout the game, we thought he might've fractured his arm. But they're hopeful that it may not be," Cleary said post-game.
"We might've have to go on scans for that one. But it was a decent injury."
Co-captain Isaah Yeo could also face an enforced rest after being copping a swinging arm that resulted in Eels centre Michael Jennings in the sin-bin.
Forward Jack Hetherington might join him on the sidelines after being penalised for a shoulder charge in the second half.
Hetherington has a lengthy record with the match review committee, having been suspended for four games over three separate charges last season.
He has four offences in total over the last past two years and, together with 45 carryover points, is likely looking at another ban with any shoulder charge citing.
The Sele injury alone will test the depth of a squad widely tipped to challenge for this year's title, particularly in the back row.
Already Viliame Kikau is out until at least round four with a knee injury, while hooker Sione Katoa was a late scratching due to concussion.
Sele's absence could force the club to rush late signing Frank Winterstein into the side for next week's clash with Newcastle a week after joining the club.
But while Cleary may be reaching into his depth for forwards, he will also be looking for a response from his backline after calling them out on Sunday.
Their back five, together with halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary, combined for 11 of their total errors against the Eels.
"I thought we defended really well for most of the game. I thought our forward pack played really well today, under a lot of pressure," he said.
"But we didn't get quite the same input from the outside backs."