South Sydney captain Sam Burgess' return has been delayed at least a week following a post-surgery infection in his shoulder.
Burgess was pencilled in to miss just two NRL games when he went under the knife to address a long-standing shoulder issue in early June.
However, the Rabbitohs confirmed to AAP Burgess had suffered complications stemming from two left shoulder reconstructions earlier in his career.
The latest setback has resulted in the 30-year-old needing a drip line to release medication into his arm.
Burgess, who is averaging a team-high 131 metres in 75 minutes a game this year, was aiming to be back for Saturday's clash with North Queensland.
It is also understood Burgess did some light training with the team on Wednesday and will join the team for their flight to Townsville.
Rabbitohs medical staff now expect their English international to be back on deck for next week's fixture against St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium.
Despite losing four of their past five - with Burgess missing from their past three - South Sydney are currently second on the ladder.
Coach Wayne Bennett has one change from the team that edged Manly last week, with a rested Ethan Lowe coming back for the suspended Liam Knight.
Australian Associated Press