From the picture it seems you are looking at the rod coming from the steering wheel. Are you sure this is the autopilot cylinder/
Depending on this it’s bad or not great, the latter being the rod.
If it were the autopilot cylinder, I would expect lots of leakage of hydraulic oil as well.
In case it’s the steering cable (the rod) you should consider replacement and for the short term lubrication with grease.