Having featured in every game of the 2005 and 2008 Grand Slam triumphs, Shanklin won nine further caps in the 2008/09 season but only played in two autumn internationals and one Six Nations fixture last term.
James Hook and Jamie Roberts have since formed an impressive midfield partnership but Robert's own injury absence leaves a big gap that many are tipping Shanklin to fill.
But while Shanklin admits he's delighted to be back in action following his latest injury setback, the 30-year-old says he is concentrating solely on his club form in Cardiff.
"I had time off over the summer and I feel pretty good coming back. But I'm not thinking too much about international rugby at the minute," Shanklin told the Western Mail.
"I just want to make sure I play well and keep my position for the Blues.
"Even though Jamie Roberts isn't fit at the moment, we've still got great competition in the centre here.
"Casey Laulala is a class player with great skills and a great step. He's the whole package.
"You just stand back and watch him go. It's a bit like sometimes when you watch Shane Williams. You just don't know what he's going to do.
"It's very tough for all of us. We've got five top centres and I just hold my breath and wait for the team list to come up.
"When you get your place, you've just got to make sure you try and keep the jersey."