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Trent's short term pain for long term gain

It’s been an usual pre-season for Trent Hodkinson, as the halfback has done the vast majority of his work indoors before joining the team on the field after the Christmas break.

It’s a new approach to manage his knee for the long season ahead.

“I’ve been off legs for most of it,” the playmaker told Knights TV.

“I’ve been working hard on my leg strength without doing too many kilometres on the field.”

Hodkinson actually played more minutes than any other Knight in 2016, and he hopes this pre-season puts him in good stead for a big 2017 campaign.

“I’ve been doing my fitness in different ways, and it’s all feeling really good,” he said.

“I get into Knights HQ at around 6.30am and I’ll be on the bike for around an hour.

“After that I’ll ice the legs up and then get back into the gym.

“On leg day I’m in the gym for two or three hours, but I want to be there because I can tell I’m improving each session.”

It’s a gruelling schedule and Hodkinson is separated from his teammates more often than not, but come January 4, he will be linking up with the rest of the team again.

“It’s different doing the hard yards when you’re not with the other boys,” Hodkinson said.

“I’d love to be out on the paddock with the boys, but that will have to wait until after Christmas.

“This first eight weeks was all about building that leg strength so come the season I’ll be ready to go and focused fully on footy, not the body.”

Hodkinson’s upper body strength has benefited as well, especially because last pre-season he was recovering from a fractured wrist and never really had the opportunity to build before the season started.

“Last year I came back and couldn’t really do any upper body weights until February,” he said.

“Just to be able to start that right from the get-go was really good, and I can tell I’m getting stronger.”