It wasn't the international debut that Jack Johns was hoping for last month, when he fractured his forearm playing for Italy at the Rugby League World Cup.
But despite the setback following a strong NYC season with the nib Newcastle Knights, he has slowly been getting back to full strength this pre-season.
The 20-year-old said he should be back to full contact training after Christmas.
“They've made me up a guard so I can start to do a bit more skills, so just getting my running legs back and getting used to it,” Johns explained.
He admits he didn’t know how bad it was when it first happened.
“I didn’t realise I did it at the time,” he said.
“I was shaking my arm and throwing it around in the game because I thought there wasn’t much to it, that it was a whack.
“I broke the Ulna, the lower bone, but it has come along now so hopefully better by next season.”
But recovery hasn’t been too lonely for the young Knight, who has been sharing his rehabilitation with a number of players.
“I'm with the rehab boys, Daniel Saifiti, Mitch Barnett, Tautau (Moga)... so we have done a lot of stuff together,” said Johns.
“There's been a little group and it has made it a bit easier.
A handy utility, Johns played both in the forwards and in the halves for the Under 20s last season and will again show his versatility next year.
“I'll do a bit of a mix, mainly in the halves but I’ll go back and forth for 2018 and I’ll see how I go in Reserve Grade,” stated Johns.
“There is always a lot of friendly competition but I think the boys will really pick up after Christmas and start to get a bit more competitive.”
The 20-year-old admits he’s got a few goals in mind before the start of the 2018 season.
“A bit of everything,” he said.
“I want to get fitter… I want to get stronger, so just about everything I want to improve on.
“It's going to be a big pre-season for me and I’ve got to really pick up.”