Newcastle Knights legend Timana Tahu couldn't be happier about playing his first NRL game of the season this Saturday afternoon at Hunter Stadium.
"It is two more games to go, getting a crack at first grade is a good feeling and I am going to enjoy it, especially playing at home," he said after training on Wednesday.
Tahu suffered a serious knee injury playing for the Newcastle Yowies in the Koori Knockout last October, which nearly ended his season before it had begun.
In November, the 33-year-old underwent a knee reconstruction with a difference, where a tendon from a donor was grafted onto the bone in his left knee.
It meant Tahu walked out of the hospital unassisted, and resumed running on grass 11 weeks post surgery. It also meant he had the opportunity to play on in 2014.
"My main goal at the start of the year was to play good football," Tahu admitted.
"To actually start playing and have confidence in my knee. Then the second part was to be happy. If you do that, opportunities arise and one has now.”
Tahu has been playing in NSW Cup for the past two months, in the back row and centres, before coach Wayne Bennett called him up for Saturday's NRL match against Parramatta.
“I got to play a few games in the back row and Wayne has given me a chance to play off the bench this weekend,” Tahu said.
Playing in the NRL and featuring in the NSW Cup finals thereafter will be a fitting send-off for the veteran Knight.
"I’m still keen to play football but it definitely won’t be at this club, Rick Stone’s already talked about that," Tahu added.
"But I still feel like I can play a couple more years and I’ll finish on my time."