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37 hours ago - 4 Likes
Wests Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson insists he won't put his health or his team in danger by rushing back too soon from concussion.
The NRL club are set to give their fullback until the morning of Sunday's game against the Bulldogs to prove his fitness after being floored by an Ash Graham shoulder charge last Saturday.
Hodgson trained for the first time this week on Thursday.
But, despite a positive hit out, both Hodgson and coach Tim Sheens admitted the 30-year-old still had plenty of work to get through before being given the all clear.
If he does play, the former NSW custodian, who missed seven weeks last year after suffering a fractured cheekbone in a head clash with former Parramatta Eel PJ Marsh, said he won't hold anything back.
"I can't (be timid)," said Hodgson.
"If I do the work here during the week, and everything is good, then I'll be going out there ready to play.
"I'm not going to risk any injury by going in half-hearted, or let my teammates and the fans down if I go out on the field.
"So if I am fit to play I will definitely be giving it my all.
"I had a headache up until Monday morning, but it's been pretty good since then.
"At the moment, I don't feel any repercussions from it, I felt pretty good training out there this morning so if anything the extra rest has hopefully just given me a few days extra to freshen up."
Despite his skipper suffering two nasty head knocks in less than a year, coach Sheens said Hodgson didn't need to alter his playing style.
"I think the game's there to protect him, any of the knocks that he's copped have been illegal and that's what we don't want to see in the game.
"I don't think he has to do anything different. We're certainly not going to stick a helmet on his head, that makes no difference.
"He'll play his normal game, you've got to put your body on the line, that's professional rugby league."
Hodgson this week became the first prominent player to advocate the banning of the shoulder charge, but harboured no ill will against North Queensland centre Graham, who received a one-match suspension for the hit.
"It was an incident which can unfortunately happen on the field sometime and Ash come up and apologised to me after the game," said Hodgson.
"I'm good mates with him anyway. I don't see that there was any intent in what he did, it was just an unfortunate incident."