St George Illawarra forward Will Matthews would call himself a liar if he said there weren’t any nerves ahead of his return to the field on Saturday afternoon.
Matthews, who dislocated his hip during February’s Charity Shield, has been named on the bench for the Illawarra to play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sportsground.
"I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been thinking about it during the week," Matthews said.
"It’s more mental than anything. I’m sure once I make a few runs and make a few tackles, I’ll start to forget about it. But at the moment, it’s still in the back of my head."
Matthews said he feared his season may have been over when he sustained the injury, crediting the medical staff for his quick return to the field.
"When I first did it, I thought that it might have been my season gone, but I worked pretty hard with the medical staff and we are pretty confident it should be good to go," the 92 NRL game veteran said.
"I was on crutches for about five weeks. I just had to let it rest, and then when I was able to weight bare again, it was just about making it strong again.
"It’s feeling good now, so I’m excited to get back out there."
Despite having to spend the first half of the season on the sidelines, the 29-year-old credits the team’s positive attitude for their success in 2017.
"It’s a great place to be around at the moment," Matthews said.
"It’s very hard to watch, obviously, but I’m happy for the boys that they are going well.
"It makes training a lot more enjoyable when the boys are winning and are playing pretty good footy."