Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson is back in training for the first time since he suffered a ruptured ACL.
The 28-year-old suffered his injury when playing for England in their Rugby League World Cup semi-final win against Tonga in November.
It's been a long road back, with a significant early setback, but he's now returned to running on the training paddock.
"To actually just pull the boots on and just have a steady jog around was a massive morale boost," said Hodgson.
"I think the mental side of things is probably the toughest part, especially the first few weeks when you can't do a lot.
"It has been probably harder being at training having an injury than it was when I was at home and just relaxing and trying to ice. It's been tough to watch; I think I've never craved to do fitness so much in my life."
Hodgson's recovery didn't start well as in his first month after surgery he tore scar tissue from his hamstring, where the graft was taken to replace his ruptured ACL.
He says he's now ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and is hoping to be back in action in July.
That's a month earlier than had initially been thought, but he still feels that if he can play anything more than a handful of games this season it would be a 'massive bonus'.
"Once I get around that sixth-month mark...I've just got to listen to my body and also my mind," said Hodgson.
"You can't be going into a game being even five percent worrying about what's going to happen to your knee or if you're even a bit unsteady."
Canberra are 5001.00 to win the Grand Final. The Raiders are 1001.00 to finish in the top eight.
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