Michael Lawrence can’t wait to play without pain in 2015.
The 24-year-old admits the final months of the last Super League season couldn’t have been much tougher for him.
Painkilling injections were required to help him get through the 80 minutes – a damaged wrist doesn’t help when you’re one of the side’s most effective tacklers! – meaning he was restricted in what he could do.
But having now had the cast and pins removed from his left wrist, he’s determined to come back stronger in 2015 and put the memories of his recent discomfort firmly behind him.
“It feels great to be out of the cast and free from any pain,” said the back-row forward and former England Knights centre.
“The last few months of last season were definitely some of the most painful I’d ever experienced.
“Initially, the hope was that I’d suffered a sprained ligament and that I’d get through to the end of the season with painkilling injections and then give the wrist some rest.
“But with the pain just getting worse and worse, I went for a scan as soon as the season was over and it was revealed I’d suffered a ruptured ligament, which is obviously far worse.
“It was then a case of getting the surgery done as quickly as possible to give myself the best possible chance of being right for the start of next season.
“All being well, that’s the way it’s working out.
“The wrist feels good and featuring in at least one of the pre-season games is definitely on the cards.”
And with competition for places so fierce in the back row, Lawrence knows he needs to come back even stronger.
“It’s one thing saying I’ll be fit and available for the start of the season, but it’s another trying to make sure I’m in the 17,” added Lawrence.
“The battle to get into the side gets tougher every year, and 2015 will be no exception.
“But we’ve come to expect that now at the Giants.
“We’re now in a position where we’ve got considerable strength throughout the squad, and you know if your standards slip someone else will be there to take your place.
“So I know how important it’s going to be for me to work extra hard between now and the start of the new season. If I don’t then, I know I won’t be playing in our opening League game against Hull, that’s for sure.”