As his fledgling career was just starting to take off, it was a hard decision for young halfback Jack Cogger.
After impressing during the pre-season and playing just one game for the Club's Reserve Grade side in Round 1, he went under the knife for pelvis stabilising surgery and repair of a sports hernia.
The 19-year-old was set to be out for 14 weeks but was able to make his comeback a little earlier than expected, named in the NYC squad last week to be part of their Round 13 win against the Melbourne Storm.
“One thing I did notice was match fitness was a bit down and that was to be expected... but it was good to get back out there for the first game,” said Cogger.
Cogger, who made his NRL debut last year and played six games for the Knights, admits it was the right decision to get the surgery.
“It was a bit slow the first couple of weeks after the surgery but the rehab team here worked really well and before I knew it I was running on the field,” explained Cogger.
“A lot of it was inside off legs for probably the first six to eight weeks so that was obviously hard, you’re away from the team but you get through that and I’m back out there now.
“I feel really good and hopefully I won’t have any problems with that area again.
“Once you’re injured for a long time you definitely know you don’t want to be back there ever again.”
The youngster considered himself lucky to be able to slot back into the Under 20s side and will be working overtime to get his form back to where it was.
“Just the little things, my kicking game and defence are the two most important things,” stated Cogger.
“I think any half needs to concentrate on that and then from there everything just takes over.”
This week Cogger has got the faith of NYC coach Todd Lowrie to start in the number seven position after a solid return last week.
“He was good defensively and did some good things with the ball in his hands,” said Lowrie.
“I will expect a little bit more of Jack this week and hopefully he can lead the team around and bring some of that experience he has from training full time and playing a bit of first grade last year.”
The NYC Knights take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Lottoland on Friday in what’s expected to be a rain-soaked battle.
“I don’t think we can throw the ball around as much as we probably would like but Manly are in the same boat,” Cogger explained.
“We are going to have to complete well, get kicks away and defend well.”
Now the 19-year-old is on track with his comeback he’ll be working towards a future promotion.
“Firstly to stay on the field and not be injured, play some good consistent footy and hopefully put some pressure on the guys above me,” said Cogger.
“I would love to be in the top grade, obviously I know I have got a few things to improve on and if I get a few good consistent games under my belt I’ll definitely be knocking on the coach’s door.”
The NYC Knights take on Manly at Lottoland on Friday afternoon, with kick off at 3.45pm.