Canberra are targeting a round 16 NRL return for star hooker Josh Hodgson from his knee reconstruction.
The England international could be back in the Raiders' No.9 jersey for their trip to Suncorp Stadium on June 30 to play Brisbane.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says Hodgson has begun full training without contact as he makes his way back from an ACL injury suffered in last year's World Cup.
Knee reconstructions can take up to 12 months to mend, but Hodgson only had surgery on his knee in December.
The 28-year-old's rehabilitation has been exemplary, highlighted by recording a personal best in a 1.2km run in February.
While Hodgson has been setting an incredible standard at training, Stuart has cautioned against bringing his best player back too soon.
Hodgson said in February he was hoping to return at the start of June, but Stuart believes the best case scenario is "round 16 to 18".
"There's a medical timeframe you've got to give all ACLs, some people rush back, but we won't be rushing Josh back," Stuart said.
"We need to win enough games so when we get Josh back we're not under pressure and putting pressure on having Josh comeback."
Stuart was speaking at Canberra Airport on Thursday as the Raiders fly to Townsville in preparation for their clash with North Queensland on Saturday night.
After two-straight wins in outstanding style against Canterbury and Parramatta, they were brought back down to earth last week in a 42-22 defeat to South Sydney on the Central Coast.
The Cowboys also enter this game with a 2-5 record and a loss for either side will make a tilt at the finals extremely difficult after only eight rounds.