Stefan Ratchford will make his long-awaited return from injury this week, and the fullback admits it has been a nightmare four months.
The 28-year-old has yet to feature in Warrington’s dismal Super League campaign after suffering a knee injury while on England duty during the Four Nations.
That injury has restricted Ratchford to just one appearance since last year’s Grand Final, making his England debut against France in a warm-up game ahead of the tournament.
Since then, Ratchford has been forced to be a spectator during Warrington’s five-game losing streak, condemning them to the bottom of the table.
Ahead of his return, Ratchford revealed how the high of debuting for his country quickly unravelled.
“It was before we went out for the last field session before the Australia game,” he said.
“I was doing a bit of rehab stuff in the changing rooms and something clicked and locked in my knee. I couldn’t bend my leg. The doctor and physio were hoping something had got caught and they could trim it out and it would be four to six weeks recovery.
“But I went to see the surgeon and he said it was worse than we thought and that it would be four to four and a half months recovery time.
“It’s been frustrating but I’m kind of glad it happened when it did because I’ve missed five games. If it had gone unnoticed, I could have come back for pre-season and missed four months from then.
“The plan was to get back for around this time.”