HULL KR captain Terry Campese contemplated retiring after requiring the third knee reconstruction of his career.
The Australian stand-off has endured a wretched few years with injuries – both in the NRL and since moving to Super League last term – but now feels fully fit ahead of tonight’s crucial game at Wakefield Trinity.
Campese, 31, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last June and, since his return in March, has frustratingly twice strained a hamstring.
He made his latest comeback at Magic Weekend, successfully surviving the derby against Hull FC, but the club’s mindful medical staff then decided to rest the talisman for last Saturday’s trip to Perpignan to get him ready for this evening.
“Since 2010, it’s been pretty horrific and a lot of people would have probably hung up their boots by now,” said the former Canberra Raider, when asked if he had ever considered finishing.
“But I want to show everyone it is possible to get over these set-backs. After Magic Weekend, Stevie Ward’s magazine piece hit home for me because you go through these tough times and it’s good for someone to talk about it so openly.
“Last year I considered retiring when I did that third ACL. I went down to see the specialist, one of the best in the UK, and he said I could get back to pretty much 100 per cent, and here we are. We’ve just got to look forward now rather than the past.”
Leeds Rhinos second-row Ward revealed recently that he had suffered depression following his own latest injury, the knee problem that saw the 22-year-old miss last season’s Grand Final and leaves him still sidelined today.
Hull FC have signed Salford Red Devils centre Josh Griffin on a three-year deal from 2017.
Griffin, 26, has played with Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and also had a spell in rugby union with Leeds Carnegie.
He has scored 11 tries in 13 games this year and Hull coach Lee Radford feels he could push on for England honours at Hull.
Cameron Smith celebrated his record-breaking 37th State of Origin appearance by leading Queensland to a 6-4 victory in an attritional opener.