Ukuma Ta'ai could return for the Huddersfield Giants in a fortnight.
The blockbusting Tongan back-row forward has been sidelined for over two months with a back injury, with fears he may have to undergo surgery to repair the damage.
But after visiting a specialist earlier this week, the 30-year-old fans’ favourite has been told he won’t need an operation and can start to prepare for his return to the competitive Super League field.
“It’s looking a lot more positive for Ukuma now,” said Stone.
“The news from his specialist the other day was as good as we could have hoped, so now it’s up to our medical staff to build him up and get him back out there, which will probably take a week or two.
“And we’ll all be delighted to see him back in the team.
“Over the past few years he’s become a real mainstay of the side and hardly missed any games.
“But a bit of wear and tear and pressure on his back finally got the better of him, which meant we needed to get him sorted out, and we can now see some light at the end of the tunnel.
“There’s no doubt we’ve missed him. Ukuma and Seb (Ikahihifo) were so destructive as a pair at the start of the year, and hopefully they’ll soon be doing that again for us.”