BEING injured for a sportsman must be one of the most frustrating things that can ever happen.
The determination to be out on the field for a rugby league player is what they play the game for, but injuries are part and parcel of the sport.
For some, they can get through a career relatively unscathed whilst others struggle with niggles and problems throughout.
New Leeds Rhinos signing Nene MacDonald is one of those in a race to be fit for the round one clash against the Warrington Wolves – but he is not counting his chickens yet.
“The goal is round one, but I don’t want to put myself out there saying that and then not get there. I’m taking it week by week,” MacDonald told League Express.
“It’s feeling good, I’ve been back running and today I hit 100% speed and I felt really good. I’ll take it day by day and if I can start hitting those levels each training session then I can join the boys.”
The issue for long-term injuries such as MacDonald’s is the fact that he is away from the group of players training each day.
“When an injury takes so long like mine – it was 12 weeks – I think it’s a lot more mental than physical pain,” MacDonald continued.
“You’re coming in on your own, you rehab on your own, you do things on your own. You go from a team environment to a lonely place.
“If you wrap your head around that and put the effort in by ticking off all the boxes and doing everything the physio says then you are good to go.”
For MacDonald, the excitement is truly there and learning about the history of the club has also been a pleasure to do.
“I ran out on the field today and I was just so excited to see everyone. Passing the ball and being with all the boys, it felt so good.
“It’s bar none this place, all the stuff with the history around the changing rooms, they’ve done such a good job. I learnt so much just walking up and down the changing rooms.”