Five Queensland stars are racing the clock to be fit for Round 1 2019, after undergoing off-season surgery.
Playmaker Anthony Milford has undergone a shoulder reconstruction and will be on light duties over the summer break with the Broncos confident he will be fit for round one. Andrew McCullough (finger) had surgery on a damaged ligament and is expected to return to skills-based training during pre-season in December.
Teenage star David Fifita is expected to be back running in November and full training by Christmas. Jack Bird (sternum) and Jaydn Su'A (leg) are pushing for a pre-season return. Payne Haas is on the road to recovery from a shoulder reconstruction and is aiming for round one next season.
Joseph Tapine has recovered from a broken thumb in time for New Zealand's tour of the UK, while Ata Hingano was named in Tonga's Test squad to play Australia after undergoing ankle surgery in June.
Jarrod Croker is recovering from knee surgery and will have no contact at training until January. Aidan Sezer (hamstring) will be fit for day one of Canberra's pre-season in November.
Josh Jackson will miss most of the 2019 pre-season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Bulldogs skipper faces three to four months of rehabilitation but is expected to be at full fitness by round one next year.
Adam Elliott had wrist surgery and will be back to full contact for the Bulldogs' pre-season campaign in November. Raymond Faitala-Mariner was a withdrawal from New Zealand's tour of England in October and November after failing to overcome a knee injury. He's expected to be available for day one of 2019 preparations.
Kieran Foran (toe) and Marcelo Montoya (hamstring) are also set for November returns with Foran to join the main squad a fortnight into training.
Kerrod Holland is expected to return to training in December after undergoing ankle surgery, while Panthers recruit Corey Harawira-Naera will miss New Zealand's tour of the UK with a groin injury.
Matt Moylan, Jason Bukuya and Josh Dugan will all undergo shoulder operations. The first three will be back doing rehab in November and all will be good for the start of 2019.
Wade Graham is unlikely for a round one return with a six-month rehabilitation from an ACL injury underway. Jack Williams (pectoral) will return to training before Christmas.
Paul Gallen has a rotator cuff injury but the Sharks say he won't need surgery.
Gold Coast Titans
Breakout star AJ Brismon underwent a shoulder reconstruction in September but is expected to be fit before round one with the club admitting he could miss the entire pre-season. Max King will resume contact following shoulder surgery in December, while teammate Morgan Boyle won't be available with a similar injury until January.
Dale Copley (hamstring) and Michael Gordon (wrist) will be available for the start of pre-season.
Manly Sea Eagles
Lachlan Croker and Curtis Sironen are expected to join their teammates for training in November after more than six months off with ACL injuries.
Apisai Koroisau is also expected to front for day one of pre-season after missing the final three months of the competition.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona aggravated an ankle injury in the grand final and was wearing a moon boot after the match. He has been ruled out of New Zealand's clash with Australia and the tour of England. Asofa-Solomona is expected to return to the training paddock by the new year.
North Queensland Cowboys
Michael Morgan is expected to commence light training with the side in November after a four-month injury layoff from a biceps injury.
Kalyn Ponga underwent ankle surgery in mid-September and was ruled out of contention for Australia's Test squad. Ponga is expected to be fit for the pre-season in November, while Nathan Ross, who had groin surgery, is set for a two-month lay-off period. He's set to miss the first fortnight of 2019 preparations before returning to full fitness by December.
Tautau Moga continues his rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction and will join the squad for training in November. Slade Griffin faces between nine and 12 months out of the game after with a knee injury. Jacob Saifiti (shoulder) is expected to be fine for pre-season training in November.
New signing Blake Ferguson suffered a broken fibula while playing for the Roosters in the grand final. He will soon begin a three-year deal with the Eels.
Daniel Alvaro and Nathan Brown (both knee) were injured late in the season but are in no doubt for the start of the summer campaign. Peni Terepo, Will Smith (both hamstring), Josh Hoffman (shoulder) and Manu Ma'u (cheekbone) are also expected to be fit for training in early November.
Kaysa Pritchard underwent shoulder surgery at season's end and is on track for a round one return.
James Maloney has been ruled out of Australia's October Tests in New Zealand with a persistent neck injury that will require fusion surgery. Maloney told NRL.com at the Dally M awards it is expected to be a minor procedure. Halves partner Nathan Cleary (ankle) will also go under the knife to repair ruptured ligaments in his ankle.
Isaah Yeo and Moses Leota both have shoulder issues, while Viliame Kikau (elbow) will also receive treatment after playing with ruptured tendons late in the season. Dylan Edwards is expected to commence pre-season training in November after undergoing shoulder surgery in May, while Sam McKendry is in a similar boat after rupturing his ACL.
Corey Harawira-Naera, who is joining Canterbury next season has been ruled out of the New Zealand Test against Australia due to a groin injury.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Adam Doueihi remains on crutches following an ACL reconstruction in August. He is expected to commence light running by the end of the year.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Tariq Sims faces four months of rehabilitation after tearing the meniscus in his knee during the preliminary final loss to South Sydney. Sims had surgery in late September and is expected to be on track for the club's first trial game in 2019.
Paul Vaughan is off his crutches after a serious foot injury at training but is not expected to return to training until after Christmas. Skipper Gareth Widdop underwent immediate shoulder surgery after a second dislocation against Brisbane and won't commence rehabilitation until December. Dragons teammate Jacob Host is in a similar boat but two weeks behind after undergoing shoulder surgery.
In better news for the club, Jack De Belin is expected to be fit for the opening week of the pre-season in late November after resting an ankle injury that made headlines throughout the finals series.
The NRL premiers emerged with injury concerns after Sunday's grand final win. Cooper Cronk played the decider with a fractured scapula and isn't expected to return to training until after Christmas. Zane Tetevano was the biggest injury concern with a ruptured his biceps tendon set to derail his 2019 preparations until January next year.
Angus Crichton - who will join the club for 2019 - also underwent minor shoulder surgery which is expected to require between six and eight weeks of rehab work.
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck underwent knee surgery in late September after being diagnosed with a medial ligament and meniscal injury. Issac Luke will miss most of the 2019 pre-season after news he requires a shoulder reconstruction. The injury will keep him out of contact training until March.
Josh Reynolds consulted doctors in Melbourne as he looks to overcome his latest shoulder injury concern. Josh Aloiai and Robbie Rochow have both had hand surgery with Aloiai expected to be fit in time for the start of pre-season.
Rochow's injury was more serious than his Wests Tigers teammate but isn't expected to miss too much of the 2019 preparations. Corey Thompson began light running in August and should be fit for pre-season training in November.