Greg Bird admits the past three weeks on the sidelines have been hard to take and he can’t wait to return to NRL action against Penrith on Saturday.

Frustrated by three weeks on the sidelines, Gold Coast co-captain Greg Bird can’t wait to reinforce his State of Origin claims this weekend against Penrith.

Bird missed the Titans’ NRL losses to Brisbane and the Warriors as well as last week’s Origin series-opening win by NSW following his suspension for a dangerous throw.

The enforced break gave the back-rower a chance to rehabilitate a plantar fasciitis injury in his foot.

But that’s small compensation, especially after watching helpless while his NSW teammates battled to secure a 12-8 win over Queensland in a brutal Origin I at Suncorp Stadium.

“It was hard, especially in the dying minutes,” Bird said.

“The times when your team is struggling a little bit and you think you can contribute, they’re the ones that are the hardest to sit back and watch.

“Given a strong performance this weekend against Penrith I’m looking forward to hopefully joining them next time.”

Bird is almost certain to regain his Blues jersey despite NSW’s win in game one and the fact Saturday’s clash with the Panthers will be the only game he plays before the squad is named next week.

Just as frustrating for the Australia international as missing Origin I has been watching the Titans, top of the table earlier in the campaign, drop out of the top eight after three straight losses.

The ninth-placed Titans are one of six teams sitting on 14 points, with the logjam meaning a win over the Panthers could put them as high as fourth while a loss could drop them back to 12th depending on other results.

“We can either go one way or another,” he said.

“The teams in that congestion can fight their way to the top or fall out the back.

“We don’t want to be the ones falling out the back.

“We’ve got to get back on the winning train again and start getting back up there.”