Nathan Ross is on the road to recovery after suffering a back injury in the nib Newcastle Knights’ round 22 clash against the New Zealand Warriors.
Ross sustained a fracture of the L1 transverse process but his rehabilitation has commenced in a bid to get back for the Knights' last game of the season.
“I am getting there,” Ross smiled on Monday.
“I am working really hard with the medical staff to try and get back before the season is out and we’re doing everything possible.
“I think we’re a little bit ahead of time but I won’t more until I get a gauge of actually running on the field.
“It has been the most painful injury I’ve had… it’s a sharp pain and changing levels is pretty hard but we’re going to get to a stage where I can play again this year.”
The 28-year-old admits it’s difficult watching from the sidelines but is proud of their three-game winning streak.
“It is tough but it is extremely good to sit there and watch them do well,” commented Ross.
“I have referred to football teams as being big machines in the past and the reason why the Melbourne Storm and the like are so successful, is because they’re all cogs working in one direction.
“When one cog gets broken, another one just slips right into place and the machine keeps on moving and I think on the weekend we showed that.
“I went down injured and Dane Gagai went to fullback and he was amazing with three try assists, Ken Sio shifted from the right to the left and scored two tries while Joe Wardle went from back row to the centres.
“Everything just moved along and I think that’s massive credit to the boys and a massive credit to our coaching staff to get us into a position now where we’re able to do these things.”
Unfortunately for Ross, he’ll be again watching from the stands when they take on the Melbourne Storm but has faith his teammates are ready to take on the ladder leaders.
“The Storm are going to be a test and they’re going to be a step up,” explained Ross.
“In terms of the last three weeks, I don’t think anyone has given us a chance but there’s always been a belief in this squad and it’s just about the young guys getting that experience and getting to the level of where we need to be at to compete week in and week out.
“An upset win over the Storm at home….. why not, I believe we can do it.”
And where better to do it, than in front of a home crowd, back at McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday.
“It is going to be an advantage,” said the Knights fullback.
“We can’t take Melbourne lightly because they’re at another level in terms of speed of the game and physicality but it’s going to be a step up for us and I’m sure the boys will rip in.”
For Ross, he is on track to return in Round 26, when the Knights host the Cronulla Sharks on Old Boys Day.
“It’s in our medical staff’s hands but I’ll be putting my hand up for selection as soon as they let me,” Ross admitted.
“It means something for me to play for this Club, I have played all my games here and the fans feel like a family, the Club feels like a family and to be out there with the boys is no better feeling.
“Round 26 will be against Cronulla who are a top side and you don’t want to miss those games against top teams, it really tests and challenges you as a player.”
The Knights clash with the Storm this Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium. All three grades are in action with NYC at 10.45am before ISP at 12.40pm and NRL at 3pm.