SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15:  Paul Gallen of the Sharks is tackled during the round seven NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Parramatta Eels at Toyota Stadium on April 15, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Hoping to play ... Paul Gallen Photo: Getty Images

Paul Gallen rates himself a "50-50" chance of playing in Sunday's match against Melbourne at Toyota Stadium.

The Cronulla captain was cleared of a kneeing charge at the NRL judiciary last night but could still miss the clash against the ladder leaders due to a knee injury. With the representative season about to start – the NSW Origin team will be named on Sunday – the last thing the Sharks or the Blues need is for Gallen to succumb to injury or burnout.

However, Gallen said he wanted to play and would make a final call after training on Saturday.

"I'll do everything I can," Gallen said. "At the moment I'll probably give myself 50-50 at this stage. It's a big game, but there are a lot of big things coming up, it's only round 10 and there's 16 rounds to go. I don't want to do anything silly and jeopardise my year."

However, the prospect of testing himself against the premiership favourites – and the chance to land a few telling blows on Queensland stars Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith on the eve of Origin – could prove too tempting for one of the game's toughest competitors.

"That's my problem. I went into last week's game with a little strain and sometimes I'm my own worst enemy," he said. "Sometimes I need someone to hold me back a little bit and I'm starting to realise that as I get a bit older. If this was last year or the year before, I'd be playing – no doubt. As you get a bit older you try to get a bit smarter. I don't know if I am. If I'm fit enough and I'm confident, I'll play."

It has already been a disrupted week of preparations for the Sharks after coach Shane Flanagan was hospitalised with a twisted bowel.