Sam Thaiday is unsure of whether he will be fit to face England next Sunday in Australia's remaining Four Nations group game.
The veteran forward suffered a knee injury on Saturday as the Kangaroos beat New Zealand 14-8 in Coventry to move into pole position for a place in the final.
Australia now have four points, with New Zealand and England both on two ahead of the last round of pool matches.
Yet Thaiday, who light-heartedly described himself as "the utility with ability" when asked about his recent role as a replacement, could be unavailable when his team take on England at London's Olympic Stadium.
Providing an update on his injured knee, the 31-year-old Brisbane Broncos stalwart quipped: "I've just hurt the fat pad in it. There's plenty of fat on me, so I hurt a lot of it."
Thaiday added: "It's a bit stiff now, a bit sore. But we've got great doctors and great physios in the team. Whether I play or not next week is another question and that will be down to the medical staff.
"But I'll be right. It just means I have to run straight, no stepping any more."
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga confirmed he would not be taking any chances with his team selection.
"I said to the players we will play close to our Test team next week," said Meninga.
"Obviously Cooper [Cronk] will come back into the side [after being rested against New Zealand]."
Thaiday expects the physical battle to prove decisive next weekend and hailed the efforts of Shannon Boyd and David Klemmer, who again came off the bench to good effect against the Kiwis.
"They [England] have got some very big forwards and that's where a lot of these games are being won, through the forwards," he reasoned.
"We've got a good little mix going at the moment - a couple of bigs coming off the bench, in big Boydy and big Klem as well. They're doing a great job for us, trying to spark the team and getting on there after Matty Scott and Woodsy [Aaron Woods] have done a great job."