The injury suffered by Leeds Rhinos winger Ryan Hall is not as bad as first feared, but he could still miss next month's engage Super League kick-off.
Hall suffered a dead leg just five minutes into Rhinos' 40-18 pre-season defeat at Featherstone Rovers three days ago.
Coach Brian McDermott initially said the England flier would be out of action for several weeks, but the team boss is now more hopeful.
"He is a lot better, though it's still going to be a couple of weeks," said McDermott, whose side begin their competitive campaign against Bradford Bulls in Cardiff in 18 days' time.
"We thought it was a really bad one, we thought he had torn some muscle and done some tissue damage as well.
"While there is some tissue damage, it's not as bad as we thought and
hopefully it'll be a couple of weeks, rather than a month or more."
McDermott is not ruling Hall out of the opening game, though he said he
remains a major doubt.
"He has got a chance, but it is less than 50-50 at the moment," McDermott said.
"It depends on the next 48 hours and how he recovers.
"If he recovers at the rate he has done so far, he should be okay – but I haveknown these injuries to take a couple of months.
"I won't be surprised if he is not available, but we are keeping our fingers crossed."
Leeds second-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan also looks set to miss Friday's
after suffering a bang to a knee in the New Year's Day clash with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
He is also a doubt for the season opener and McDermott said: "He came in on the day after the game and it had eased off and it had eased some more the day after that.
"The swelling has gone now and it's down to the damage to his muscle, which is not healing as quickly as we had hoped.
"He has probably got less chance than Ryan Hall to make Cardiff, but I'm not writing him off. We'll give him until the 11th hour."
Ryan Bailey missed the trip to Featherstone due to a "setback coming back from his hernia operation".
Added McDermott: "He's had extensive re-hab and was back into full training, but at the end of a big session he pulled up and that has set him back a bit.
"He certainly won't be playing on Friday, but hopefully he'll be available for the Cardiff weekend."
With Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock on the long-term casualty list, McDermott admitted: "The depth of our squad is going to be tested before we get going."
Meanwhile, Headingley Carnegie Stadium is to host a fund-raising dinner in aid of victims of the Queensland, Australia, floods.
The idea for the event, which will take place on Wednesday, March 16, came about following a discussion between fan Ricky Wilby and Bradford Bulls coach Mick Potter.
Wilby said: "The following day Toowoomba got ravaged and I saw on the internet that Chris Walker, who is from there, was raising awareness and funds in Australia and thought that we could do the same over here.
"We are still finalising the full details, but given the interest and support we have from players and coaches already, it promises to be a special night."