A day after revelations of Ben Barba's personal problems shocked the rugby league world, details of how he fell so quickly from the top are beginning to come to light.
It has been revealed the final indicator that Barba's mind was elsewhere came last Saturday night, during a trial match against Canberra in Goulburn.
During the match, the Dally M Medalist told one of the team's trainers that he wanted to come off the field because he had no interest in playing.
It was the final straw and a sign that Barba needed help.
The incident in Goulburn came just days after Barba reportedly lashed out at teammate Tim Browne during a physical scrimmage at training. Fairfax is reporting Barba took exception to a challenge by Browne, and the altercation became physical.
Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg has stressed that rather than just one issue, Barba is struggling with "a range of different issues that stem from a breakdown in a family and personal relationship."
That relationship, with childhood sweetheart Ainslie Currie, ended late last year.
The couple has two children together and shared a house. Their split, combined with gambling and alcohol problems, sent Barba on a rapid downward spiral.
News Ltd is reporting the first serious indication that not all was well came last week when Barba requested a few days away from training.
It was around that time that Barba moved out of the house he shared with Currie.
"Moving out was a big thing," a friend told News Ltd.
"Suddenly Ben was on his own and I don't think he expected it to be so hard without the kids."
Things came to a head after the match in Goulburn.
On the bus trip home, Barba had a detailed conversation with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler and then called Greenberg on Sunday.
Barba reportedly became emotional at a meeting with Greenberg on Sunday, when both parties agreed the 23-year-old should be stood down.
"It became quite serious to me over this weekend," Greenberg said.
"We've been talking to him a lot ... over the last 24-48 hours it became significant enough for me to take the action.
"(It was) not so much an incident, just a manifestation of a lot of issues that have been in his life over a period of time.
News Ltd is reporting that around the time of Barba's break-up with Currie, he became close to the group Epic Bender Crew (EBC).
The EBC are a tight group of mates from Sydney's Sutherland area who party their way through most weekends.
Barba became so tight with the group that he got a tattoo on his stomach with the letters EBC.
Meanwhile, Barba's mother says she's confident her son will make a full recovery.
"He will pull through this. He will be OK," she told News Ltd.
"He hasn't hurt anyone or anything like that. He's going through some personal problems and they are his to work through.
"There's a few relationship breakdowns in his life and there's issues he has to work through with the club.
"There's a lot that's happened to him recently."