"I know I'm ready."
South Sydney's Greg Inglis looks set to be a shock inclusion in the Rabbitohs squad for the 2019 Charity Shield at Glen Willow next week after the Test and Origin star declared himself fit to play on Thursday.
The 32-year-old had originally been rubbed out of any pre-season trial appearances after he reported discomfort in the knee he had a full reconstruction on during the 2017 season.
Inglis has spoken to new Souths coach Wayne Bennett about a possible return at Mudgee - the scene of his successful return from that ACL surgery in 2018 - and has the backing of the master mentor to play at Glen Willow.
But Inglis still has to convince Souths' high performance head Jarrod Wade he's good to go before making his first appearance in 2019.
"I could be up for Charity Shield," Inglis said at Souths training on Thursday.
It's quite funny isn't it? Do I look like 18 kilos overweight?Greg Inglis on reports he's come back to pre-season training a touch heavy.
"I asked Wayne [Bennett] and he said 'If you think you're ready' … and I said I know I'm ready.
"I had a chat with Jarrod, who's been my conditioner the last few years getting me back from my ACL, and he said the only reason they played me [in the Charity Shield] last year was that I was coming back from an ACL and we wanted to give you that confidence of 20 minutes [playing].
"He said to me 'there's no point in you playing that many trials so we won't play you, just keep you ticking over and get ready for round one'."
Regardless, Inglis will line-up for Souths in their round one clash with the Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 15.
It's a Friday night blockbuster in Sydney and given the magnitude of the rivalry, and the fact the Roosters are the defending premiers, it's unlikely Inglis will risk missing the match.
He said despite reports his weight had balllooned during the off season, the damaging ball runner is in better shape this year than he was 12 months ago.
"It's quite funny isn't it? Do I look like 18 kilos overweight?" he said.
"It's quite ridiculous. I come back usually between five to eight kilos over every season.
"I think I weighed more this time last year going into Charity Shield."
The Charity Shield will be played at Mudgee on Saturday, March 2.