BEN Cross admits he thought his Wigan career was over when he broke his arm a month ago.
The Australian prop made an incredible return to action against St Helens on Sunday, just five weeks to the day since fracturing his forearm against Salford.
After having the injury assessed, Michael Maguire put the weekend of the Grand Final - October 8 - as a best-case return date for the 32-year-old - effectively ruling him out for the season.
But he stunned the club’s medical staff by making a rapid recovery, and came off the bench to figure in the narrow 26-18 loss to St Helens on Sunday.
Cross said: “A few weeks ago the idea that I could get back this season was laughable.
“I definitely did the right things just in case, taking the supplements, watching my diet and doing all the recovery and training.
“The surgeon’s really happy with it.
“The plate and the screws are holding well, I had an X-ray last week and you can’t even see the fracture.I’m pretty happy with how it’s come along.”
Cross was a surprise mid-season signing by Wigan, following his release from Leeds.
The former New South Wales front-rower – who worked with Maguire at Melbourne – has already agreed to join Super League newboys Widnes in 2012.
And now he is aiming for a dream finish to his brief Wigan career, as he looks to add to the five substitute appearances he has clocked up so far.
“Fingers crossed I’m good to go next week,” he said. “The arm was pretty sore after the Saints game, I got a couple of whacks, but that’s understandable.”
Wigan must beat Catalan on Sunday to progress to the semi-finals following their opening play-off defeat by Saints. Tickets for the game (5pm kick-off) are now on sale.