It may not have been as dramatic as Trevor Gillmeister’s 1995 heroics but Greg Inglis has emerged from his hospital bed to join his Queensland teammates on Sunday.
Maroons backrower Sam Thaiday revealed that Inglis had spent three nights in hospital with tonsillitis before receiving the nod for Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener on Sunday.
Inglis was quarantined last week at Queensland’s Gold Coast camp but finally joined his teammates on Sunday, albeit to watch training from the sidelines.
Veteran centre Justin Hodges also received the thumbs up for Origin I after spending last week nursing a foot wound suffered in a bike crash at the camp.
Inglis may not quite have rivalled the comeback of Gillmeister who famously left hospital to lead the Maroons to a 3-0 1995 series win before checking himself back in.
Still, Inglis received a round of applause from teammates when he joined them at their last training session before they fly out to Sydney on Sunday.
It emerged Inglis had to undergo blood tests on Friday but Thaiday revealed the full extent of the centre’s health battle on Sunday.
“The doc has been looking after GI very closely,” he said.
“Tonsillitis they said – I thought that was only for little kids but he’s been in hospital for three days so it must have been bad.
“Being in the hospital for three days all by himself he’ll be jumping around and keen to get out there and prove a point not just to the boys here but everyone else out there as well.”
Queensland coach Mal Meninga tried to play down Inglis’s hospital stay after confirming the veteran centre would play Origin I.
“It’s just precautionary really,” he said.
“The doc’s normally conservative with these sorts of illnesses and there’s been an epidemic of tonsillitis and viral flu at the moment so just being precautionary to make sure we look after one of our very valuable players.
“He’s not training today but he’s back with the team, he’ll be travelling with the team and he’ll train Tuesday and play Wednesday.
“He’s fine. Still getting over the aftermath of tonsillitis but he’ll be fine for Wednesday.”
Thaiday seemed unfazed by yet another injury-interrupted Origin build-up for Queensland.
“He (Hodges) has still got a bit of bruising on his toe and his foot and still got the stitches in as well,” Thaiday said.
“(But) you kind of get used to these things now these days, especially with representative teams.
“You have players that are saved up to the last minute to train and they usually get on the field and play the best game of footy of their lives – hopefully that is the same in this case.”