He is quickly piling up the puzzle pieces - now Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart just has to find a way to make them fit.
Star back-rower John Bateman is poised to return to full-time training upon his return to Canberra next week as the English import eyes an early return from a fractured eye socket.
Bateman was tipped to spend at least another month on the sidelines but a possible early return comes as Joe Tapine overcomes an ankle injury for the Raiders' clash with North Queensland at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
"He's back early next week. It's been handy to be able to give him a little bit of time at home with his daughter and family," Stuart said.
"He hasn't been able to do too much, so he is better off being back there and spending a bit of time with them. He'll get back next week and start again."
Now Stuart is preparing for the first instalment of his balancing act as Tapine prepares to put a frustrating run of injuries behind him amidst starting rookie back-rower Hudson Young's arrival as a genuine NRL player.
"I'll just see how the game pans out and how it starts in regards to when we get him on. He's got the ability to play in the middle or on the edge so that's also valuable for us," Stuart said.
"[Young] also shows a bit of utility value too because he plays on both sides of the field and he can play in the middle too.
"That also gives us a little bit of an opportunity to either play Taps or Hudson in the middle. At some stage they will be both on the field at the same time."
NRL ROUND 11
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys at Canberra Stadium, 3pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Nick Cotric, 5. Michael Oldfield, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (c), 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange from: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Joe Tapine, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Corey Horsburgh, 18. Aidan Sezer, 19. Emre Guler, 20. Sebastian Kris, 21. Royce Hunt.
Cowboys: 1. Jordan Kahu, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O'Neill, 4. Tom Opacic, 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby, 6. John Asiata, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. Matt Scott, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange from: 14. Kurt Baptiste, 15. Mitchell Dunn, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Francis Molo, 18. Corey Jensen, 19. Shane Wright, 20. Josh McGuire, 21. Jake Clifford.