Shoring up a top-four spot would give Parramatta's Dylan Brown the best chance to play again this NRL season with the Eels five-eighth facing longer than expected on the sidelines.
As the Eels prepare to face the Warriors in Gosford on Sunday, coach Brad Arthur said he admires Brown's toughness in dealing with an ankle injury that could end his season.
The 20-year-old underwent surgery on a syndesmosis injury earlier this week.
The longer the Eels stay in the competition, the better chance Brown has of returning to action in 2020.
"We're hopeful he might be able to play in the finals," Arthur said on Saturday.
"He won't play another game in the regular season, we just have to wait and see.
"The effort that he put in the other night with that injury, as a team we need to make sure we repay him and give him an opportunity to try and at least come back before the season is out."
Arthur said the injury is worse than first expected, given he played on in last week's loss to South Sydney in a considerable amount of pain.
"You do a syndesmosis, you probably can't stay out and play another half an hour, make a line break and chase a bloke down and save a try," he said.
"So it just shows you how tough the kid is.
"We owe it to Dylan that we give him the opportunity that he can play at the end of the year."
In his place, Jai Field will make his return alongside Mitchell Moses in Sunday's all-important clash with the Warriors.
The Eels are desperate to atone for a 38-0 thumping by the Rabbitohs last week, while the Warriors are within reach of an unlikely finals berth if they keep winning.
The Warriors are fresh from an encouraging 36-6 win over Newcastle in Tamworth and have won four of their past five games.
"They've been playing really good," Arthur said of the Warriors.
"I think last week was a really good example of having 17 blokes who are owning their effort every week, they completed high and kept it simple."
STATS THAT MATTER
* These teams have traded wins since 2015, and if this was to continue the Warriors would win on Sunday.
* Blake Ferguson is yet to score a try this season (15 games), he will want to avoid becoming the first winger to go 16 games before scoring his first try of a campaign since Michael Erickson - also playing for Parramatta, did so in 1993.
* Roger Tuivasa-Sheck leads the NRL in run metres this season with 2892.