Leroy Cudjoe isn’t the first player to say that rehab is a dark place at times, nor will he be the last.
But for Cudjoe, his latest stay on the treatment table has been particularly hard to stomach.
On Friday, the Huddersfield captain will make his long awaited return to action – almost ten months since his last game which, coincidentally, was against the team he will make his return against, Wakefield.
The 31-year-old has been out with a knee injury, just a year after his other knee had ravaged his 2018 campaign.
The former England international was restricted to just 10 appearances last season after being forced to go through a near seven-month layoff to recover from his previous injury. As a result, he has been restricted to just 16 matches in the last 24 months.
Cudjoe is desperate that his injury woes are finally behind him, after going through many battles in the last two years.
“Deep down I always believed I’d get back playing,” he said.
“But some days when rehab doesn’t go to plan you do question yourself.
“Rehab is a tough place to be in – you have good days and bad days, which is mentally challenging, but the club and staff have been great with me and I’m finally happy to be back doing what I enjoy doing best and that’s playing rugby.
“I missed so much of last year with my other knee – I think it played a part (in the trouble), maybe through over compensating, but a lot would have been wear and tear.
“I’ve been training full-time for a few weeks and have been progressing well, so now is the time to expose me to a game.”
He couldn’t ask to return in a more important game. The Giants have been hauled into a relegation scrap following the recent resurgence of London, finding themselves level on points with the Broncos and just two points off relegation.
At the same time, a victory on Friday would leave the Giants just four points off the play-offs, making the fixture one of particular importance.
“It’s been very tough watching, as I hate missing games, but when things haven’t gone our way, it’s a lot worse.
“I’m someone who leads with actions in the way I train and play, so not been able to do it has been challenging.”