Billy Slater has given the best indication yet he’ll return from the shoulder injury that ruined last season for Melbourne’s clash with St George Illawarra on Monday night.
The Storm fullback has been racing the clock for the NRL season kick-off since he had surgery on a troublesome left shoulder last June.
Slater was named at No.1 when teams were released on Tuesday, however there had still been conjecture as to whether he will run out for the team at AAMI Park.
But it now seems he will be fit to play.
“I feel that I’m ready to go for round one and I’m looking forward to a game of footy,” he told RSN Radio on Thursday morning.
“I’m really happy with where the shoulder is at.”
The 32-year-old was one of the first players to return to pre-season training, beginning three weeks before some members of their main squad.
He rejoined the main squad two weeks ago, and has been involved in full contact since then.
“It’s pulled up really well from that stuff and it’s actually improved over the past fortnight,” he said.
“I’m confident with the work that I have put into my shoulder and I’ve just got to get out there and get that game confidence back.”
Meanwhile, Slater suggested the man who deputised for him last season, Cameron Munster, was less likely to return from a knee injury for round one.