FIT-AGAIN Keith Mason is hoping to celebrate his Giants contract extension by forcing himself into contention for Sunday’s home Challenge Cup clash against Catalan Dragons.
The 29-year-old prop hasn’t played since he suffered a knee injury in the Galpharm Stadium Super League triumph over Wakefield on April 3.
There were fears Mason could be sidelined for 12 weeks, ruling him out until the beginning of July.
But he had his brace removed from his injured left knee last week and will join up with the rest of the squad for full training today, which he hopes gives him enough time to convince head coach Nathan Brown to put him straight back into the side.
And Mason admits that would be the icing on the cake after just penning a new Giants deal until the end of the 2015 season.
“This week has been a great one for me, and getting on the field on Sunday would be a fantastic way to celebrate a new deal,” said Mason.
“It’s possible this week may be a week too soon, but I do feel ready.
“Obviously, the call’s down to Browny, and he might think I need a little bit longer with the boys before he gives me a run.
“But I’d certainly like to think that if I don’t play this weekend, I’d get my chance the following week.
“I’m back running again and the knee feels great, and because I generally get fit quickly I know I’ll be up to the job. To be honest, I’m champing at the bit to get back out there.”
Mason admits the speed of his recovery has taken the medical staff and coaching staff by surprise, and for that he believes conditioner Greg Brown deserves a great deal of credit.
“I’m probably about four or five weeks ahead of schedule, which has really surprised a lot of people,” he added.
“I suppose part of that is because I’ve not tried to cut any corners and I’ve looked after myself. Having good, young Dewsbury blood must have helped, too!
“But I also can’t under-estimate the work GB (Brown) has done with me.
“It was pretty tough having to do the rehab work on my own at first, but GB has pushed and helped me all the way through, and that’s made everything so much easier. His support has been invaluable.
“Having said that, I’d rather be back out there on the field than with GB, and hopefully that won’t be too long off now.”