Albury Thunder will welcome back star winger Curtly Jenkinson for Sunday's road trip to face Junee.
Jenkinson missed the past two fixtures against Wagga Brothers and Temora after injuring his ankle against second-placed Gundagai back in round 10.
The Thunder sits just a point behind third-placed Tumut for the all-important double chance and are only a game-and-a-half behind Southcity on top.
Jenkinson is eager to get back on the park and pick up from where he left off prior to the injury.
"I'm back into it this week," Jenkinson said.
"It was the ankle (that kept me out), I picked it up against Gundagai scoring a try.
"It was pretty sore for a couple of weeks, but back to 100 per cent now.
"I'll just ease back into it, it's my first run off the bench this year."
Jenkinson has been the Thunder's primary goal-kicker throughout the year and is third in the league with 39 this season.
He's also third in total points scored in Group 9 with 118, but isn't expecting to need the kicking boots on Sunday.
"I'd say Keanau Wighton will be on kicking duties this week, he's been hitting them pretty well," Jenkinson said.
"He generally hits them pretty well, so he'll start the game and probably hold onto it I'd say."
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Jenkinson will have to do more than just prove his fitness to cement his spot back in the starting lineup, with young gun Jaidyn Hampton making a huge impact on the wing in his two first grade appearances so far.
"Jaidyn Hampton has come into the team and taken my spot for a couple of weeks and has been going really well," Jenkinson said.
"It's always good to see the local junior blokes come through and make a mark.
"I haven't really needed to help him out, he's a bit of a natural.
"We just let him run around out there and he'll always do the job."
Jenkinson said the Thunder must be wary of Junee's outside backs, who can score big if allowed.
"As long as we're controlling the ball pretty well, playing with a fair bit of intensity and taking our opportunities, we should do alright," he said.
"We're expecting to play well and pick up the two points.
Coach Adrian is also nearing a return from injury.
"His leadership and experience makes a big difference," Jenkinson added.
Kick-off is at 2.35pm at Junee's Laurie Daley Oval.
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