Paul Gallen is a certain starter for Cronulla’s clash with Sydney Roosters this weekend as the Sharks seek a way out of their late NRL season woes.
Sosaia Feki could also make his return from injury.
The Sharks have crashed to three successive losses, putting their chances of a top-two finish in doubt despite a club record 15 straight wins earlier this season.
Cronulla sit in second place, two points ahead of third-placed Canberra, and need to win both of their final games against the Roosters and Melbourne to confirm a home match in week one of the finals.
Skipper Gallen sat out the Sharks 12-6 loss to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Monday night due to a calf injury, which had also forced him to miss the loss to St George Illawarra the round before.
Hooker Michael Ennis admitted the Sharks missed Gallen in the loss to Souths.
“That is two big bodies we had out with him and Sam Tagataese (both not playing),” he told AAP.
“We could have used them against that big Souths pack.
“I believe he will be back. I hope so.”
Feki missed the round 24 match with the Rabbitohs due to a groin injury picked up the week before in the loss to St George Illawarra.
Prop Tagataese might not play against until the finals due to a shoulder injury.
Cronulla will also be boosted by the Roosters’ poor recent record at Shark Park. The Tricolours have won one of their past six matches in the Shire.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was attempting to stay positive.
“It’s not going to be easy. We know that,” he said.
“We’re trying really hard, we’re trying our butts off and things just aren’t working at the moment.
“It’s not hard for me to be positive about it. That’s my job to make sure we work hard and we’re in good shape when we get to the semi-finals.”