Penrith are hopeful Jamal Idris could return to the NRL club next year after he took an indefinite break from rugby league on Monday.
The surprise move came on the Panthers’ first day back at pre-season training under new coach Anthony Griffin as Idris was released from the final year of a three-season contract.
Panthers playmaker Peter Wallace said there was talk amongst the Panthers playing group that the former NSW State of Origin utility could be back at the foot of the mountains.
“There was talk that he could be moving on to another club so it did come as a surprise that he he is taking time out, but that is the decision he has made, we have to respect that and we wish him the best for the future,” Wallace told AAP.
“But he could be back. He might just need a year or two out of the game and then he might come back and he will only 26, so he is young enough to do that, it might do him the world of good to get away and you never know you might see him back here in a year’s time.”
The loss of 25-year-old Idris is a blow to the Panthers but good news for Penrith fans has been the sight of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak at training this week.
Watene-Zelezniak’s playing future was in doubt following surgery to repair a collapsed lung.
The 20-year-old has returned to Panthers training under new coach Anthony Griffin and has been involved in fitness and ballwork sessions. He is yet to be included in contact sessions but is expected to be fit for the Panthers’ opening game next season.