FIT-AGAIN Luke Robinson is confident he’ll carry on from where he left off when he makes his Giants’ return against Super League champions Wigan tomorrow night.
The 26-year-old hooker hasn’t played since he suffered a serious elbow injury during England’s Four Nations triumph over Papua New Guinea last November.
He required surgery to repair the damage, as well as undergoing an operation to fix a long-standing shoulder problem.
But the England hero has now been given the green light to resume his career and can’t wait to face former club Wigan at the Galpharm (8pm) , particularly with his Giants sitting proudly at the top of the table.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to be back and I can’t wait to play. To be honest, I’m really excited,” said a delighted Robinson.
“Because I’ve not had a pre-season and missed out on playing in the trial games, I suppose my timing may be a bit out at first and the match fitness might not be perfect.
“But with the way things went for me last season with the Giants and then with England, I’m feeling really confident about the way things are going and that I can continue from where I left off.
“The break – albeit enforced – has really freshened me up, and the shoulder and elbow feel great.
“And what’s added to my confidence is that Browny has shown real faith in me by sticking me straight back in for the game against the reigning champions.
“I know if he had any slight doubts he wouldn’t have picked me, and you really can’t put a price on how much of a lift something like that can give you.”
But with the start the Giants have made to the season, having won four of their opening five games, Robinson did wonder whether he would have a longer wait to regain his place.
“I’m over the moon the boys have made such a decent start,” he added.
“They really started to put things together in Sunday’s big win over the Bulls, and no-one was more delighted about that than me.
“But it did make me wonder if that might delay my return. The team has been doing really well in my absence, and because we’ve now got such great competition for places I thought I might have to bide my time a bit.
“I have to admit I was finding it tough when the season got under way. That’s when you feel you’re missing out.
“The pre-season was a big challenge as I was having to spend all my time in the gym and everyone else was out on the training field, but I knew it was something that had to be done and I just got my head down and got on with it.
“My attitude throughout that time was that I was getting fitter and stronger with every session, and I was also recharging my batteries after what was a tough year last year.
“As a result, I’m hoping that as this year progresses and the season starts to take its toll on the opposition players, I’ll still be feeling relatively fresh and I can give the Giants even more.
“That’s my big goal.”
Wigan are set to give a debut to stand-off Joe Mellor against Engage Super League leaders Huddersfield on Friday.
The 20-year-old Mellor made his Super League debut for Harlequins in their 27-16 win over St Helens last Friday, but his initial month-long loan expires at midnight tonight and he has been recalled by the Warriors to offset the loss of Paul Deacon, who has a head injury.
Giants: Grix, Lawrence, Cudjoe, Gilmour, Hodgson, Brown, Brough, Crabtree, Robinson, Griffin, O'Donnell, Fa’alogo, Faiumu, Lunt, Mason, Kirmond, Horne, Wardle, Simpson.
Warriors: Goulding, Carmont, Leuluai, McIlorum, Coley, Hansen, O'Loughlin, Prescott, Lima, Hoffman, Roberts, Mossop, Farrell, Tuson, Marsh, Charnley, Crosby, Mellor, King.