Warrior Reece Walsh rehabilitating well

Young fullback Reece Walsh could be back on the field for the Warriors sooner rather than later.

Walsh missed the opportunity to make his controversial debut for the Maroons in the second State of Origin game against New South Wales, after pulling out of captain's run with a low grade hamstring strain.

Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan said Walsh was back with NRL club and responding well to the rehabilitation.

Morgan could not confirm the timeframe on Walsh's return but expected it to be between one and three weeks given the severity of the injury.

"We need to tread quite carefully with him, he's started his rehab running, he looked very comfortable and got through the first couple of stages, so nothing too major but with a young athlete you need to make sure you're nice and cautious."

The Warriors have again been plagued by injuries this season but Morgan said they were getting closer to being able to make team selections based on game plan rather than availability.

The coaching staff could face a selection headache in the halves in the back end of the season.

Veteran halfback Chad Townsend will start against the Dragons in his return to the club that he last played for in 2015.

But if Chanel Harris-Tavita could return from a pectoral injury before the end of the competition he would join young Sean O'Sullivan in pushing Townsend for game time.

"Competition for places is always very healthy. There's been times this year as coaches that we've had to just put 17 fit players out there rather than look for combinations or look for tactical advantages where we could put players in different positions, particularly on the bench, and use that as the game rolls on, we haven't had that luxury because of injuries, suspension and a number of players leaving the club," Morgan said.

Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has also been rushed into the side this week after joining the Warriors from the Bulldogs, but Morgan warned against expecting too much too soon from Townsend and Watene-Zelezniak despite the newcomers' experience.

"We're realistic in knowing that they are coming into a new system and whether they can hit the ground 100 percent to their full potential in week one, I'm not 100 percent sure, but in terms of the way they've prepped and in terms of their understanding of what our systems are like they've grasped those very very quickly."

The Warriors believed they were right in playoff contention despite three straight defeats.

They have slumped to 11th on the ladder, but with sides seven to 12 separated by just two points, coach Nathan Brown said they were as well placed as any of the other teams that sit around them.