Minor ankle surgery before Christmas more than likely had a few on the coaching staff, not to mention the fans, nervous about the return of Andrew Fifita for round one of the NRL competition.
However, rather than join his teammates in Tonga immediately following the completion of the World Cup, Fifita rushed himself into surgery and after visiting a specialist earlier today it appears his dedication to the Sharks cause will be rewarded.
While still on light duties as he continues to rehab the ankle, Fifita was informed he was on track to play in the Sharks second trial and therefore be ready to go for the teams round one match against the Cowboys in Townsville.
A tower of strength for Tonga during their impressive World Cup campaign, Fifita’s availability will be a boost to the Sharks chances against what is certain to be a strong North Queensland side in the season-opener.
Fifita will be back in full training in the coming weeks and while he will sit out the trial with the Sea Eagles at Southern Cross Group Stadium, the bustling front rower is targeting some game time in the pre-season game against the Wests Tigers.
The Sharks first trial is scheduled for February 17, their second in Campbelltown against the Wests Tigers on February 24.
Stay tuned to the Sharks website and social media for information in regards to ticketing for the opening trial match.
While in some positive pre-season news the Sharks are reporting no other major injury concerns, with youngsters Ryan King and Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, the only other two players training away from the main group earlier today.
King has a hamstring problem while Aufaga-Toomaga continues his recovery from knee surgery.