EAMON O’Carroll is hoping to draw a line under 14 months of misery this week by making his long-awaited return to action.
The prop has endured a nightmare injury which cut short his promising Super League career back in May 2010.
An attempted return in August for the Under-20s was aborted after a few minutes, and his comeback bid was then delayed by an exhausting search for a surgeon capable of operating on his rare sternum problem.
But the 24-year-old is now fit again and is pencilled in to play for the U20s against Wakefield this Saturday.
O’Carroll said: “I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.
“It’ll be good to get out there. It’s been so long since my last full game and I’m feeling ready.
“It’s been terrible being out for so long. I tried to come back in August but I only lasted a few minutes for the Under-20s.
“But the lads have been great and the club have been brilliant with me, and that’s all behind me now – I’m just looking forward.”
Oldham-born O’Carroll has been training with the first-team squad for the past few weeks but had to wait for a return, due to a break in the U20s schedule to accommodate the extended 9s competition.
“It was probably a blessing in disguise, because it gave me a chance to get up to speed without rushing it,” he said.
“I’ve been training for the last few weeks and everything feels fine.
“It’s been a case of testing everything and hopefully the surgery has rectified the problem for good.”
A compact front-rower, O’Carroll has made all but three of his 61 appearances from the bench since debuting in 2006.