Paul Gallen insists players need a proper pre-season if and when the league restarts this year to avoid widespread injuries.
The specifics of a late-year return to action are yet to be determined as teams adjust to the NRL’s new training guidelines, which stipulate players must only train individually and away from club bases.
Gallen told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show a minimum of four weeks would be necessary to prepare players for the demands of a rebooted season.
“I do think they need a good 4-6 weeks,” Gallen said.
“If we send these guys back on the field with one week’s preparation, all sorts of things can go wrong.
“We worry about players’ health at the moment but there could be detrimental impacts on players’ knees and shoulders.
“It’s all sorts of different things that players need to get back up to speed to play again.”
Gallen was just one of hundreds of victims of the league’s shutdown, temporarily stood down from his coaching role with the Sharks.
The NRL has already confirmed the competition must restart by September 1st, meaning a four-to-six week preseason would need to begin by the start of August at the latest.