Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs racked up 166 metres in last week’s win over the Canberra Raiders.It was the first time Greg Inglis had found himself in open space in over a year, but Alex Johnston didn’t think his skipper was going anywhere fast.
“I thought he was on a treadmill for the last fifty I reckon,” Johnston said.
“I spoke to him after. He reckons he had another gear and I said, ‘What, reverse?'”
But it wasn’t so long ago when Inglis not only thought that his career was going backwards, but may have even reached full stop as he battled depression in the midst of a long recovery from an ACL injury.
It was that combination that almost forced him to give up on the game, and fall short of the 250-game milestone he will now reach when he runs freely against Brisbane on Thursday.
“There was dark days there where I thought about it and I come very close to it. I even had conversations with the club about it,” Inglis recalls.
“But I’m here now and if I didn’t go through that, I wouldn’t have learnt so much about myself. (So) I’m glad I went through it.”
Now Inglis’ steady rise in form has coincided with the Rabbitohs’ move up the ladder, having won four of their past five games to occupy sixth position nearly a third of the way into the season.
Hooker Damien Cook, who had only played one game with Inglis prior to this season, says the captain has played a major part in their rejuvenation.
“When you’re going out on the field with Greggy there, you know you’re in for a good chance of winning that game,” Cook said.
“Greg’s one of the reasons why I was looking forward to coming to this club.”
Inglis credits the club’s coaching staff for helping him back to full fitness, which included racking up 166 metres against the Raiders – his highest count since an 199-metre outing in August, 2016.
He admits it has taken him more than a few weeks to find some resemblance to the form that made him a Kangaroos and State of Origin star but, like he told Johnston, warns there is more to come.
“I’m not hiding the fact that it took me a few weeks to get back to the way I’m playing now,” he said.
“And I’ve still got a fair bit to go (but) in saying that, it does take it’s time. It is a massive injury to come back from performing consistently.”
Australian Associated Press