GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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Melbourne star Greg Inglis admits he needs to settle down both at training and off the field or he could face even longer on the sidelines.
Offseason shoulder surgery always meant Inglis would miss the opening rounds of the Storm's premiership defence, but the precocious 20-year-old has been pushing the boundaries too far lately and he won't return to playing until at least round four.
Inglis blamed over-enthusiasm during his early contact work at training for re-injuring his shoulder two weeks ago.
The Test star was also involved in a late night scuffle at a Brisbane hotel recently and although he escaped injury and acted as peacemaker in the altercation, club officials were upset he was out drinking while his teammates were overseas for the World Club Challenge.
"There's been a few setbacks," said Inglis.
"I did a bit of contact at training and I was just so eager to do a bit more and went a bit too far and done a bit of damage to the shoulder.
"The injury is coming along well, I think round four or five I should back, if not the latest will be round seven."
Inglis said he knows he's got to settle down at training and away from football or he won't get back to his best form.
He endured plenty of criticism in his first season at five-eighth last year but silenced the knockers with a starring performance in the grand final to win the Clive Churchill Medal.
He knows those same critics will be circling if he starts the season slowly.
"I just want to keep them at bay to be honest," said Inglis of his critics.
"I want to be more consistent week in week out. I've said it a lot but doing it is another story.
"It's about doing everything right off the field and then I should be right on the field."
Melbourne launched their premiership defence with some political clout on Friday, announcing deputy prime minister Julia Gillard as the club's inaugural No.1 female ticket holder.
Chief executive Brian Waldron said the NRL club was contacted by a member of Gillard's staff after previously being approached about a similar position with Manly.
"We were chosen by her which is quite humbling for us to be asked," said Waldron of Gillard, who holds the western Melbourne seat of Lalor for the ALP.
"She loves her sport and the fact that she made herself available for us today is a wonderful thing for us.
"It's a credit to our organisation that we've grown to the standard we have where we are able to attract people who want to offer their services to us."
Music industry identity Ian "Molly" Meldrum is the club's No.1 male ticket holder.