South Sydney captain Greg Inglis has put plans to return to fullback on hold as he battles to overcome a niggling shoulder injury which may sideline him from Sunday’s match against Gold Coast Titans at ANZ Stadium.
Inglis is on a modified training program and will make a decision on his fitness later in the week, with Corey Allan expected to take his place in a backline reshuffle likely to involve Dane Gagai moving from right wing to centre.
The Rabbitohs superstar underwent surgery for a bulging C7 disc during the off-season and he said his shoulder problems are related to the neck injury.
“I had a clean out during the off-season but I have got back and been strengthening it up and doing a lot of rehab with it,” Inglis said. “I started behind the eight-ball but we knew that at the club and I have probably just got to modify my training and just keep moving forward.
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“I had scans and there is not too much going on, I just think it is a bit of wear and tear so it is just making sure I am right to go. I’ll make a decision Thursday or Friday so the boys will know.”
Inglis, who has announced he will retire at the end of next season, appeared troubled by the injury in last Thursday night’s defeat of St George Illawarra and had a bag of ice on his right shoulder after the match.
Despite a 10-day turn-around between the matches against the Dragons and Titans, Inglis may opt to rest his shoulder until the April 6 clash with Manly at Lottoland.
“Anyone that has had shoulder injuries or shoulder surgeries it does get uncomfortable from time to time, but we will just get on with it,” Inglis said.
“This is my 15th season so I’ve just got to keep trecking along but I am obviously getting older so I need to be smarter with it now because we have still got 22 rounds to go.”
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett said at the start of the season that he would leave it to Inglis to decide when he was fit enough to move to fullback but the 32-year-old said he was happy for Alex Johnston to remain in the role for the foreseeable future.
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“AJ’s doing a terrific job and he’s just blossoming there at the moment for us,” Inglis said. “He’s getting an understanding of what it takes to be a fullback and the more I see AJ grow, the more likely I’ll leave him there.
“There definitely is a desire to go back there but seeing Alex there, he’s really growing and he’s young and he is certainly understanding the game a lot more. The only thing I can do from here on in is help him with his positional stuff.
“I guess what I am more looking at these days is being on the field and being a leader from the front and doing much more than I did on the weekend, that’s for sure, but just to sit back and watch these young guys grow and be their mentor when I retire.”