Wests Tigers may be granted salary cap relief to sign another player as back-rower Liam Fulton considers whether to hang up the boots because of a series of concussions suffered this year.
Fulton, who has decided to stand down from playing for the rest of this season, is believed to be contemplating his longer term future after receiving a report from Paul McCrory on the results of scans he underwent last week in Melbourne.
Dr McCrory is a neurologist and sports physician with particular expertise in traumatic brain injury.
The 29-year-old Fulton has been forced from the field with concussion four times in six matches this season and been stood down from playing the following match on each occasion.
He and his family are considering the results of the neurological testing amid fears the popular back-rower may have played his last NRL game after being concussed in a tackle by Newcastle forward David Fa'alogo two weeks ago.
If that is the case, the NRL would consider an application from the Tigers for salary cap relief to cover the loss of Fulton after introducing strict new guidelines on concussion this season.
"The recent salary cap review identified the need for relief for concussion cases," an NRL spokesman said. "Therefore, if any player is forced out of the game because of concerns about concussion, the NRL will consider salary cap relief.
"We want to encourage clubs to put the interests of their players first and ensure they receive the proper assessment and treatment. So, if a club does the right thing and supports a player who stands down for a large part of the season due to concussion, then we would certainly consider any request for salary cap relief."
If the Tigers are to sign a replacement, they will need to move fast before the June 30 mid-season transfer deadline expires.
Fulton has played 161 matches for the Tigers in two stints, from 2003 to 2008 and from 2010 to now, and was a member of the club's 2005 premiership-winning team. He also played the 2008 season for Huddersfield and was thought to be planning on returning to Super League after his contract expires in 2016