Brisbane's Kodi Nikorima won't play in Thursday's NRL grudge match against South Sydney, with coach Anthony Seibold giving the long-time Broncos halfback a chance to "ponder his future".
Teenager Tom Dearden will debut in place of Nikorima, who has been linked to an immediate move to the Warriors.
"He also has some decisions to ponder around his future, decisions that are not easy to sift through, and that may affect his family," Seibold said.
"It will give Kodi the time and space to think through his decision."
It is another subplot in what will be Seibold and Wayne Bennett's first game against their former clubs since their controversial coaching swap last December.
Seibold said Nikorima had also been struggling with a calf injury and that a third game in 11 games may've been too much to handle.
The Warriors have lost Blake Green to a groin injury while Shaun Johnson's sudden off-season departure has left them short of experience in the halves.
Nikorima, the New Zealand Test No.7, has had his moments but struggled to consistently click alongside five-eighth Anthony Milford since the pair began their partnership last season.