Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson has overcome a groin injury and declared himself a certainty to start Saturday's NRL double-header clash against North Queensland at Mt Smart Stadium.
Johnson missed Saturday's 30-6 win over the Sydney Roosters as a precaution after pulling up tight following training early last week, but is confident he is back to full fitness.
The 27-year-old ran freely at training today and is looking forward to opposing Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston as the unbeaten Warriors search for a fifth straight season-opening victory.
"I'm locked in to play," Johnson said.
"It's feeling good. I got through a bit of work out there. I was able to do some full contact and attack stuff so it was sweet.
"Today was going to give us a really good gauge on where it was at.
"I told [club medical staff] that it felt good throughout the entire week and I did a bit of running on Sunday and it felt better than it did on Friday and it's got better each day."
Johnson was pleased with how the side performed in his absence and thrilled for his replacement, back-up halfback Mason Lino, who scored 18 points through a try and seven goals to clinch his first NRL win in his 10th first grade outing.
Johnson was not surprised by Lino's composed display and said it was the result of all of the club's halves working hard to develop an understanding of the side's game plan.
"What's awesome with our squad is that we all know what's expected of us," he said.
"Mase slotting in last week wasn't a shock to anyone. He's spent a lot of time working with myself and Greeny (Blake Green).
"It's like a circle, where we slot in and out and run plays, so there was no shock there. It didn't disrupt the group at all, which you saw in the performance and the way that Mase played.
"That's what we want and it was cool to see the boys perform like that."
The Cowboys will arrive in Auckland tomorrow having lost their past three matches, but the Warriors remain wary of the 2015 premiers, who have beaten them in their last four encounters.
Johnson is excited to line up against his opposite and Cowboys co-captain, Thurston, and predicts it will take a team effort to limit the former Queensland and Kangaroos playmaker's influence.
"It's going to take a collective effort to not switch off," Johnson said.
"We know what [Thurston] can do with the footy but if he does it against 17 commited players it's a lot harder.
"He's going to have an impact on that game whatever way you want to look at it, so it's about limiting that impact and having everyone on the same page with how we do that."
Meanwhile, veteran forward Simon Mannering will also return to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the Warriors last pre-season trial in February.
The side's former captain has been named on the bench and coach Stephen Kearney was remaining coy as to whether he would be injected into the starting line-up.
"[Mannering's] the club's most decorated player so I anticipate that he'll jump into the starting role, whether that's this week or not you'll have to come on Saturday," he said.
"He's a tough cookie. Simon lives for these situations so I don't anticipate it being an issue."
Kearney also confirmed outside back utility Gerard Beale is still a month away from playing as he continues his recovery from a double leg fracture, while front-rower James Gavet is expected to miss a couple more weeks with a hamstring injury.
The Warriors strong start to the season has created a lot of interest ahead of their second home game, with 17,000 tickets already sold and a crowd of more than 20,000 expected for the two matches, with Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm playing the earlier fixture.
Warriors v Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium, 7.30pm Saturday
Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), David Fusitu'a, Peta Hiku, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Blake Green, Shaun Johnson, Bunty Afoa, Issac Luke, Agnatius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu, Tohu Harris, Adam Blair.
Interchange: Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone, Simon Mannering, Anthony Gelling, Ligi Sao, Mason Lino, Chris Satae, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Cowboys: Ben Hampton, Kyle Feldt, Justin O'Neill, Javid Bowen, Antonio Winterstein, Michael Morgan, Johnathan Thurston (c), Matthew Scott (c), Jake Granville, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Coen Hess, Jason Taumalolo.
Interchange: Te Maire Martin, John Asiata, Corey Jensen, Ethan Lowe, Francis Molo, Lachlan Coote, Enari Tuala, Kyle Laybutt.
Refs: Matt Cecchin, Phil Henderson.
To get the day's top sports stories in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here