The 34-year-old had been sidelined since Origin II when he guided Queensland to a series saving victory via a sideline conversion despite playing with a busted shoulder.

He subsequently underwent surgery and has been in rehab ever since.

Coach Paul Green told his star half would undergo testing to verify what kind of training he is capable of with an eye to return for North Queensland’s season-opener against the Sharks in March.

The match will mark his 300th NRL game.

Meanwhile, fellow Cowboys veteran Matt Scott is expected to start his pre-season on Monday.

The prop suffered a season-ending ACL injury in round two against the Broncos.

“They are both jumping out of their skins,” Green said.

“Even though they weren’t playing, they both went through what we all went through last season and that has made them more hungry, I reckon.

“Part of that excitement is about getting back into training and getting back on the field in 2018.”