Rising at the crack of dawn and then heading for the treatment room was a regular routine for Tommy Makinson as he recovered from a serious injury.
The St Helens winger, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in last year’s Easter Monday clash against neighbours Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium and subsequently underwent major surgery, missed a large part of Super League XX1 and also had a spell on the side lines the previous year.
But now the 25-year-old, who was tipped for England honours before being hit by the injury jinx, is hoping for a change of fortune and playing a part in bringing more silverware to the Totally Wicked Stadium to add to the Grand Final triumph he shared with his team-mates against Wigan Warriors in 2014.
“It has been tough and frustrating sitting in the stand watching the lads perform when deep down you are itching to get out there and join them,” said Makinson, who admitted there were times as he battled to reach full fitness that he worried whether he would be the same player again.
“These kind of things naturally cross your mind but I had faith in the medical team, who did a wonderful job, and at the same time they had total faith in me to make a full recovery along with all the coaching staff and players.
“Now I’m feeling great and determined to make up for lost time. Neither did I look on by rehabilitation programme as a chore. It didn’t seem hard work because I was simply involved in a job which I love.”
If there were any doubts about his fitness, he dispelled that in the first home game of the season against Leeds Rhinos - producing a stunning try-saving tackle on Liam Sutcliffe to bundle the stand-off into touch when the result hung in the balance.
More of the same for the rest of the season, Tommy!