Luke Lewis admits his recovery from reconstructive shoulder surgery has been a frustrating process with the Test star hopeful of returning for Cronulla in round five.
Lewis went under the knife in November after dislocating the joint when he crashed into a pole holding up a pitchside advertising board when playing for Australia against Fiji at St Helens during the Rugby League World Cup.
Lewis was told it would take six months to recover from the surgery and the 30-year-old NSW star said he is on course to be back for the clash with the Warriors at Remondis Stadium on April 5.
"I did my first session with the boys in pre-season on Tuesday and got through that really well," Lewis said.
"I'll keep building it up and hopefully next week I will have two sessions and just build it from there and be back for round five."
It was the second time Lewis has undergone this type of surgery having suffered a similar injury during his Penrith days.
However, he said this time around it has been harder to deal with as he's been unable to join in pre-season training with his teammates.
"When I last had it we didn't make the semi-finals so I was able to get it done as soon as the season finished," he said.
"Because I have done this one so late in the pre-season it means I am behind the rest of the boys.
"You have your days when you worry is it going as good as it should be. Then you'll have a couple of weeks when you are absolutely flying, then it's sore again.
"You just have to persist with it. But this week has been awesome and the last two weeks have been pain free and I have been able to lift some weights above my head."
"But the other side of this is that it may help me later in the year as I'll be fresh when it comes to that tough part of the year.