The return of Greg Inglis to training is enough to put a smile on any Rabbitohs fan: Photo: Brett Costello
The return of Greg Inglis to training is enough to put a smile on any Rabbitohs fan: Photo: Brett Costello

‘You’re never out of it’: Inglis opens up on mental health battle

HIS deeds on the football field have inspired thousands to emulate the famous fend or goanna try celebration but South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis is now just beginning to appreciate the power of his words.

The return of Inglis to the training paddock has not only brought a smile to the Maroons and Kangaroos great but also those of his teammates who are seeing signs of the old 'Greggy' in full flight.

Anyone who witnessed his near length-of-the-field try against the Broncos on Anzac Day four years ago will tell you that a free-running Greg Inglis is one of the sport's purest sights but a ruptured ACL in round one last season left many to question whether those days were gone.

As he struggled to come to grips with the isolation associated with such a long injury lay-off Inglis last year checked himself into a mental health clinic for treatment for depression.

It led to an outpouring of support from the rugby league fraternity and beyond but more than that, it encouraged others to also seek help.

Since putting his hand up and asking for help Inglis has been inundated by people thanking him for the example he set, telling Fairfax Media that it has given him a greater appreciation for his influence in the community.

"Obviously going through what I went through... I'm getting people coming up to me saying 'Thank you'," he said.

"I did this to help myself, I didn't think that I would touch that many people's lives or families and help them in a way.

"I just learnt how much power that I can actually have by voicing my opinion.

"I didn't actually realise that until I went through it."

Like his physical recovery, Inglis says his mental health is an ongoing treatment that requires regular attention in order to be maintained at a healthy state.

Whether he plays in round one or not and whether his eventual comeback is in the centres or at fullback now has perspective for the 31-year-old Rabbitohs captain who says after last year's scare he is now conscious of his mental state.

"Last year I obviously had my battles with mental depression and I'm obviously still keeping on top of that," he said.

"I have people I can have a chat to when I'm feeling a bit down.

"You've got to continue the therapy. You're never out of it, even though you think you're fine.

"I think you've still got to continue it and that's what I'm doing."

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