Bulldogs centre Chase Stanley made his long awaited return to the football field last weekend after a long absence with a torn ACL.
When Stanley ran on to the field, it had been 322 days since the outside back suffered the knee injury against the Wests Tigers last year that required a full reconstruction.
The knee injury came off the back of a hamstring injury he had suffered earlier in the season, while celebrating his 100th first grade appearance against the Canberra Raiders.
The 27-year old took his place in the centres against the Newtown Jets and after a long lay-off, Stanley was excited to be back.
“I was very nervous before the game, but once I had my first run and made a few tackles, it felt normal. It was so good to finally get back out on to the field and play with the boys again,” Stanley said.
IT'S a battle for the title of Best in the West when rivals the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Penrith Panthers unleash at ANZ Stadium.
His return to the field follows an extensive rehabilitation program that saw the outside back visit the Victorian Institute of Sport for three days of testing on his knee.
The three days down south were about identifying the weaknesses between his left and right knees, as well as a number of tests based on his bio-mechanics, landing, agility and running gate.
Stanley, who first required a reconstruction in 2011, hopes there is some positive news to come from the lengthy lay off.
“This time round I made sure I did everything right in regards to my mind and body. I needed to tick every box along the way. The trip to the VIS gave me a better understanding of my body and I found it easier to be prepared this time round mentally. I can’t thank the Bulldogs football staff enough for what they have done to get me back on the field,” added Stanley.
The Bulldogs Intrust Super Premiership side managed a draw on the weekend, but getting through 80 minutes of footy, kicking a few goals and getting a few runs was a win for Stanley.