This time last week, Anthony Watmough couldn’t even walk, so bad was the pain in his injured knee.
Now the Manly forward is targeting a comeback for the Sea Eagles’ opening NRL finals encounter next weekend.
“The body’s been getting thrown a bit out of whack … but it’s getting better,” Watmough said on Wednesday.
“Hopefully I can run next week without a local (painkilling injection). If I can do that, then hopefully I’ll play without one as well.”
Watmough helped secure a top-four berth for the Sea Eagles when he scored a crucial try in the round-24 victory over Canberra, after having three injections in his knee before kick-off.
The injury was caused by a controversial leg twist from South Sydney forward Jeff Lima week earlier.
“When he twisted it, he must’ve banged the joints together and the bone bruised a bit,” Watmough said.
“And then we went down to Canberra – that didn’t help the situation and flared it up a bit.
“I finished that game and I literally couldn’t walk for two or three days – it was pretty painful.”
The 30-year-old missed Manly’s last-start win over Melbourne and has been rested for Sunday’s final-round match against Penrith at Brookvale Oval.
He said club medical staff told him it was best to wait until the finals before returning – a move which Watmough believes has helped freshen his mind and body.
“The boys thought I’d been on a holiday … there’s no chance! I’ve been getting flogged in my own rehab,” he said.
“I would’ve played this week but it would’ve had to be under local.
“Personally I think it’s up around at 80 per cent at the moment. If you asked me this question this time last week, I would’ve told you there’s no way I’m ever playing a game without a needle.
“But the way it’s come the last couple of days, I’m really super excited.”