The Broncos say Jack Bird is in the best condition of his career and his coach Anthony Seibold plans to unleash him in the club's trial clash with the CQ Capras next month.
The trial in Rockhampton on February 15 will be the 24-year-old's first game in 281 days after rupturing his ACL on May 10 against the Sea Eagles.
Bird has played just 17 games in two seasons at the Broncos after a sternum injury cruelled his 2018 season.
Spurred by that disappointment, the 2016 premiership winner has worked tirelessly to get himself into top shape.
"Jack is just coming back from an ACL so we need to be smart about how we transition his comeback but he is light and back to his playing weight from his Sharks days," Seibold told NRL.com after training on Thursday.
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"His skin folds are the best of his career. He has got himself in great condition.
"In the off-season, Jack did a lot of hard work so that when he turned up for day one of pre-season he was ready to train. He wasn't turning up to training wanting to get fit.
"He won't go to the Nines but we will give him a little bit of time against the Capras, probably about 20 minutes to get him back on the park.
"We don't think he needs to go all the way across to Perth to play his first game so we will be smart about that."
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The Broncos missed Bird at the back end of last year as his experience would have been a boost for what is a young squad. He has missed so much football in recent years that Seibold likened his presence to that of a new signing.
"It has been a really challenging two years for Jack because of his injuries but at his very best he is a premiership-winning player and an Origin representative so we do know that when he gets back on the park he is going to be a real asset to us," Seibold said.
"I thought he was one of our best players before he got injured last year. He was making a lot of tackle breaks and his defence was really strong."
The other asset Bird brings to the table is his versatility and will give Seibold options in most of the backline positions, although centre is his likely spot.
"He's done a little bit of training at right centre, left centre and fullback today actually," Seibold said.
"The beauty of Jack is that he is a highly skilled player who can play multiple positions so we are just trying to work out what is the best position for him."