Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is confident young gun Nick Cotric will be fit for the biggest game in Canberra Stadium history.
The swelling has gone down in his face, after the NSW Blues centre copped a stray boot from Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen last weekend.
It left the Raiders' outside back with a broken nose and stitches in his nose and lip.
He also failed his head injury assessment and was unable to play out the game.
But Stuart was expecting Cotric to be right for the first preliminary final to be held at Canberra Stadium - against South Sydney on Friday night.
The Rabbitohs won through to the grand final qualifier with a controversial 34-26 victory over Manly at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
"He's alright mate. He's OK. The swelling's going down, but I'll check on that early next week," Stuart said.
"Yeah I do [expect him to play]. I expect him to be fine."
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Cotric's fitness would be a massive boost for the Green Machine.
But it will also pose a selection headache for Stuart, who has only Michael Oldfield (shoulder) and Hudson Young (suspension) unavailable to face Souths.
Fellow Raiders outside back Bailey Simonsson was excellent when he came off the bench against the Storm.
He scored the opening try and made a number of breaks filling in for Cotric on the left wing.
Cotric himself had started well, laying several ferocious hits before he was forced off after 20 minutes.
Stuart will name his team to face the Rabbitohs on Tuesday.
"I'll worry about that next week," he said.
Even if Stuart prefers Cotric on the left wing, Simonsson will likely fill the utility role on the bench - just as he has four times this season.
Not only can he play on the wing, but he can also cover fullback - where he spent most of the pre-season training before Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's arrival from the New Zealand Warriors.
Simonsson was also across the Ditch 12 months ago as part of the All Blacks sevens program.
Now, he's 80 minutes away from the Raiders' first grand final since 1994.
"Twelve months ago I was in New Zealand and didn't really know what to do with my football," Simonsson said.
"Fast forward 12 months and I'm about to play a grand final qualifier in the NRL. It's just crazy. I'm just so grateful.
"I know from some of the older boys these opportunities don't come around too often so it's really important as a team we prepare really well and make the most of what's in front of us."
NRL PRELIMINARY FINAL
Friday: Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs at Canberra Stadium, 7.50pm. Tickets on sale Monday (members) and Tuesday (general public).