Injured Warriors star Shaun Johnson is expected to return to action after the upcoming bye, but a leg strain has fill-in halfback Mason Lino in doubt for Saturday's NRL clash against South Sydney.

Johnson has missed the last two games with an ankle injury suffered in the round nine win over Wests Tigers a fortnight ago, but coach Stephen Kearney confirmed he is expected to play against Manly in Christchurch on June 9.

"He'll be two weeks away because we've got the bye after this weekend which will put him in line to play the week after, said Kearney.

There are concerns over Lino's fitness however, after the back-up No 7 suffered a leg problem in last week's 24-14 win over Parramatta in Sydney, which could prevent him from facing the Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium.


"He's got a bit of a leg strain which he got on Friday night against the Eels so we've just taken it easy on him this week," he said.

"He ran yesterday and a bit again today so we'll see how he pulls up over the next day or so."

Lino took limited part in training today but said he was just being cautious, while Kearney confirmed backline utility Peta Hiku was a contender to replace him in the halves if required.

"Potentially, we've got a few options," he said.

Hiku has twice made the switch from right centre to fill in at five-eighth recently, after Johnson departed late in the second-half against the Tigers, and when Lino limped off with an ankle strain in the following week's loss to the Roosters.

The 25-year-old's versatility helped the side again last week when he filled in at fullback against the Eels in the absence of captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Hiku has previously played in the No 6 jersey for the Kiwis during the 2015 end of year test series against England, and Kearney was confident he could slot comfortably into the halves alongside usual playmaker Blake Green.

"That's Pet, he's an old style footballer - he'd play bare feet if he could.

"He did a pretty good job last week at fullback and he could handle it if he was required to go into that position in the halves."

Green is pleased with how his combination with Lino has been progressing, with the pair having played five games together so far this season.

"We're really happy with how things are going," said Green.

"We've kept things fairly simple. Mason's done a really good job when he's come in and we've played a big chunk of games now. He's done a terrific job and I'm sure he'll continue to do that."

But Green, who captained the side at ANZ Stadium, believes the Warriors would lose nothing if Hiku has to replace Lino against the fourth-ranked Rabbitohs.

"He's just a footy player, Peta," he said.

"He's been great for us this year. He obviously played fullback on the weekend and generally plays in the centres and he can slot in anywhere in the backline.

"He's very classy Pet so I'm sure he'll do a good job if he needs to jump in there."

To get the day's top sports stories in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here