Tom Trbojevic is expected to be fit for the season opener in a massive boost to the Sea Eagles.
The superstar fullback injured his hamstring in December, the latest in a frustrating trend for one of the game’s best players.
In a bid to put his hamstring troubles to rest, Trbojevic and Manly’s physio Andrew Lowndes headed to the USA to work with renowned trainer and strength and conditioning expert Bill Knowles.
MORE: Sea Eagles 2023 season preview
Now back in Australia and training with the team, new Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold provided a positive update on Trbojevic, confirming he’s in line to face the Bulldogs at home in round one on Saturday, March 4.
“Tom is fit, he trained fully yesterday, it was our captain’s run yesterday,” Seibold said on SEN on Friday.
“If we were to play next week, then Tom would be available.
“Unless we have anything unforeseen happen over the next two weeks, then Tom will be right for round one.”
Trbojevic, 26, is arguably the best player in the competition when fit and firing, unfortunately for him, injury has limited his output in recent campaigns.
In the past four seasons, his best tally of club games is 18, coming in 2021 when he won the Dally M in a canter despite playing fewer games than his nearest rivals.
In 2022, the fullback featured just seven times at club level, with both Manly and New South Wales struggling in his absence.
Since 2019, the Sea Eagles have won 68 percent of the games where he has started at fullback, while this drops to a 34 percent winning percentage when he has been absent.
Last month, Trbojevic spoke about what he took away from the trip to Philadelphia and how he hopes it can be the end of his fitness concerns.
“Every time you come back from an injury, you feel good,” Trbojevic said.
“But I think this time it’s given me a lot of confidence and having something to work on is a bit different.
“[Knowles] provides exercises and drills that you can program into your training, and we need to work out how we integrate that into my training.
“We had a physio over there who filmed every session and was writing a lot of notes, so that’s not only bringing it back and helping me but also a full squad approach.”
Manly play the Roosters in Gosford in their final pre-season match on Friday night and while Trbojevic will sit this one out, it appears to be all systems go for 2023.