Penrith star Matt Moylan has targeted the club's round 24 clash against St George-Illawarra for his NRL return from a long-term foot injury.
The Panthers fullback was initially slated to miss just six weeks after scans revealed torn ligaments in his ankle suffered in their round 12 loss to Parramatta.
But further analysis revealed the damage was worse than originally feared and that he would need three months to recover.
"I've ruptured the deltoid, split 40 per cent of the paroneal tendon, ripped the retinaculum off the bone - I think I've got the pronunciation right there - and there was a bit of other ligament damage and a bit of cartilage floating around in there," he told AAP.
"So I've done a good job on it."
Moylan, who was a NSW fullback contender pre-Origin, is hopeful of getting out of his moon boot after the side's meeting with Melbourne in round 19 and aims to be back in action not long after that.
"Round 24 is the goal at the moment but hopefully I'm a bit quicker of a healer and I can come back early," he said.
"It's disappointing it's that long but you can't really change it. You can only accept it and rehab it as best you can. I'm already over watching the games. I get too nervous."
His replacement at fullback, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, has had mixed outings since moving to the backfield.
However the 19-year-old had his best game in the No. 1 jumper against the Wests Tigers last week, scoring a try, setting up another, assisting on two line breaks and amassing 169 running metres.
"I always knew he was going to have a good game sooner rather than later," Moylan said.
"He's just finding his feet and finding his confidence in the position as well.
"He's played in a few positions now this year and he's doing a good job for us."