It has been so long since Fred Burdon last played a competitive game for Yorkshire Carnegie that when he did the club was actually called something different.
The centre will finally put 18 months of injury torment behind him tomorrow when he is set to come off the bench against Moseley in the British & Irish Cup quarter-final at Headingley.
His last competitive fixture was for Leeds Carnegie v Leinster A in May 2014 before he tore his Achilles while captaining the club in their first outing under the new name during a pre-seaon friendly at Gloucester.
That wrecked Burdon’s 2014-15 campaign and then, cruelly, just as he was about to return last year, he suffered the same injury in his other leg.
“The second Achilles tear was a bad moment,” recalled the 26-year-old.
“I knew that I had worked so hard to get back and so many people had showed a lot of faith in me including my team-mates, the coaches and my friends and family.
“To not be able to deliver for other people because your body has let you down was a tough experience.
“All you want to do is play rugby and your body won’t let you, worst of all you don’t understand why.
“I never considered walking away from the game.”
He added: “I was always going to do the rehab because I wanted my body to be in good nick for life.
“Our physio Steve Humphries and doctor Jon Power were great with me as were the whole support team at Carnegie.
“To play rugby for a living is all I wanted to do my whole life, so there was never any doubt about it for me that I would come back.”
Burdon was the club’s player of the year in 2013-14 and, so, obviously wants to try and pick up from where he left off.
There has been three changes of head coach since then and he is grateful current chief Bryan Redpath has allowed him the chance to prove his worth again.
Burdon, who has scored 12 tries in 53 games since joining from Doncaster Knights in 2012, said: “The big thing for me is how much of an open mind Bryan has had.
“A lot of coaches would look at my injury history and dismiss me. He has seen that I have worked hard and listened to the medical staff who have advised him.
“He has allowed me to train and I am extremely thankful. Hopefully it can work out well and I can start paying that faith back at the weekend.”
Doncaster, meanwhile, are also in B&I Cup action this weekend.
They are at Cornish Pirates tomorrow seeking to reach the semi-finals for the seocnd year running.
However, director of rugby Clive Griffiths is taking no risks as they seek to keep up their bid for a Championship top-two finish .
He has named just four of the starting XV from last week’s league win over London Scottish, wingers Andy Bulumakau and Tyson Lewis plus fly-half Declan Cusack and No 8 Alex Shaw.