Michael Lawrence will be ‘drip fed’ back into Huddersfield Giants action during the Super 8s.
That’s the message from head coach Rick Stone as the Giants prepare to visit Challenge Cup finalists Hull FC on Friday night.
Lawrence – out of action since February following knee surgery – returned to the Claret and Gold in the 18-4 defeat at Wigan Warriors, playing off the bench.
And a sympathetic re-introduction to Super League activity is likely to continue for the man nicknames Bruno as Stone looks towards the KCOM Stadium clash and the final fixtures of the campaign.
“It was a good hit-out for Bruno and we’re very happy for him, because he’s worked really hard off the field to get himself in a position to play – and he will get better each week over the next few weeks,” said Stone.
“We won’t possibly see the best of him until next year, but it’s good to have him back because he has a great motor, tremendous desire, his communication is spot on and his defence outstanding.”
Asked how much the Giants missed the 27-year-old as they battled to secure a top-eight place, Stone answered: “It’s hard to put a number on something like that.
“He is one of those players who you don’t realise how important he is until you have worked with him and coached him – and he is invaluable to us.
“The other boys want to play alongside him, he inspires players around him to be better at what they do and, while it’s a quantum leap to put your finger on it, we are definitely happy to have him back and definitely happy to see a smile back on his face.”
On selection for Lawrence, Stone admitted: “We will drip feed him in over the next couple of weeks, that’s probably the way we will go.
“In three or four weeks it might be a different proposition because of the needs of the team,