Johns will only play Origin if fit

Champion playmaker Andrew Johns says he will do the right thing by his NRL club Newcastle and skip the State of Origin series this year if he's not 100 per cent fit.

Johns only returned to training with the Knights this week after surgery in November on his right knee, which had been previously reconstructed in 2004. The 31-year-old halfback has admitted that he will have to reduce his training load and "manage" his knee if he wants to coax a few more playing years from the worn-out joint.

Johns said despite his love of pulling on the blue jersey in the annual grudge series with Queensland his priority was with the Knights, where he has three years left on his contract.