Greg Inglis is in line to make a shock appearance in this weekend's Charity Shield despite not being named in South Sydney's team to play St George Illawarra in Mudgee.
NRL.com understands Inglis is tracking ahead of schedule and is likely to be given some minutes in the annual Charity Shield ahead of the Rabbitohs' season opener against the New Zealand Warriors in Perth. However he will have to get through the team's final training session on Friday before being given the all clear.
The Rabbitohs are being extra cautious with Inglis and didn't want to name the skipper in the trial team to avoid the hype around his return from a season-ending knee injury suffered in the opening round of 2017.
However if he doesn't pull up sore from the final session he is expected to play some part in the Rabbitohs' second pre-season trial, bringing a close to almost 12 months of recovery and rehabilitation from the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
Second-rower Angus Crichton could also make an early return from an Achilles injury if he is passed fit at Friday's final training session.
Meanwhile young Rabbitohs winger Campbell Graham is racing to be fit for the start of the season after breaking his hand.