The Warriors welcome back Manu Vatuvei for Friday night's clash against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with their eighth spot on the ladder hanging in the balance.
Warriors coach Brian McClennan spoke to onenews.co.nz about the boost Vatuvei will give his side against a Brisbane outfit welcoming back their Origin stars and looking to consolidate their own fourth place on the ladder.
"It's been great work put in by Manu and our medical staff," McClennan explained of the big winger's early return after he underwent surgery on his right knee just three weeks ago.
"He's worked really hard and come back a week earlier than expected which is a terrific bonus for us.
"Brisbane have been so successful over the years so it certainly is a massive challenge for us."
Vatuvei's remarkable recovery presents him with the opportunity to add to his club-record of 97 tries - just three short of becoming the first Warrior to cross the chalk 100 times - the big man crediting the help and support of his better half for his quick return.
"I've been trying to look after my body really well and making sure that everything is going well and I've got my wife at home in my ear all the time to make sure that I'm icing it and making sure that any swelling goes down so I can run on it again," he explained.
"I might get some tips off Konny (Konrad Hurrell). He scored a hat-trick last week so hopefully he can give me some tips to help me get my 100."
"That'd be a great milestone but my focus is to play well and to make sure I do my job right."
Vatuvei spoke of the difficulties experienced by every player sidelined through injury but added his sides recent return to form had him excited to be returning to the playing field.
"Pretty frustrating but its been really good the past two weeks with the boys playing really well and showing what we can do so hopefully we can carry that on against the Broncos."
Should the Warriors take the two competition points on Friday and the Cowboys lose to the Storm, they would draw level with North Queensland on 22 points and leap-frog them into seventh place via their favourable points-for record.
A loss to the Broncos and a Tigers win over the embattled Panthers would drop them back to ninth, making their job in the remaining seven rounds all the more difficult.
McClennan conceded his side had dropped their intensity after getting off to a roaring start against the Titans last Saturday and acknowledged a better effort will be required this week.
"Yes there's areas we can get better at," he said.
"We look at all our attack and all our defence so we've reviewed most of it and we'll adjust accordingly to how we think the Broncos are going to play and what their trends are and their traits are."