Roberts returns to training with South Sydney

South Sydney's James Roberts could play for the Rabbitohs next week after returning to training with the NRL club.

Roberts was all smiles at Redfern on Saturday as he trained with his teammates, a week after it was confirmed he'd recently checked into a rehabilitation facility.

On Thursday NRL interim chief executive Andrew Abdo said a biosecurity expert was assessing Roberts' case after he left the facility.

A possible 14-day quarantine period before he could train or play due to coronavirus concerns had been mooted.

James Roberts

However, Souths hooker Damien Cook revealed Roberts had been tested for the virus and given the all-clear to return to training after a negative result.

"He was back at training today and it was great to have him back," Cook told Triple M radio.

"I think he got tested yesterday and obviously all good that's why he was there today and had the footy back in his hands and was happy to be playing some footy.

"That's all we wanted for James ... to take as much time as he needed and when he was ready to come back we were waiting for him, so we are happy to have him there."

The news will be a boost to the Rabbitohs ahead of next Friday's clash with arch rivals Sydney Roosters, in Latrell Mitchell's first meeting with his his former club following a controversial off-season switch.

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Roberts' return means he'll be in contention to face the Roosters but Cody Walker will not play after he was handed a two-game suspension by the NRL on Friday.

Walker was slapped with the ban as well as a suspended $15,000 fine after video footage of him kicking a man in the chest during a street fight in December was released on social media earlier this week.

Walker has five business days to respond to the punishment but has already indicated he'd accept whatever sanction is handed down.

The Rabbitohs also have five days to respond to a $20,000 fine after failing to promptly disclose the incident to the NRL's integrity unit, with the club saying they'd be considering their position.

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