A 500TH Leeds Rhinos appearance is out of reach, but Rob Burrow is confident of making an impact in the Super-8s.
Burrow, who is currently sidelined following shoulder surgery, confirmed two days ago this will be his final season as a player.
The 34-year-old, who is staying on at Leeds to join the backroom staff, has played 486 games for Rhinos and is fifth on the club’s all-time list of appearances, behind John Holmes (625), Fred Webster (543), Kevin Sinfield (521) and John Atkinson (518).
With a maximum of 12 games left this season, beginning with tonight’s visit to Wigan Warriors, Burrow will miss out on becoming the fifth member of Leeds’ 500 club, but expects to play a full part at the business end of the campaign.
He has sat out Rhinos’ last six matches, but confirmed his recovery is ahead of schedule.
“I am good – it is coming on nicely,” said the seven-time Grand Final winner.
“I have been doing weights that Andy [Barker], the physio, expected me to do the week before I play.
“It is still too sore to play, but the strength of it is great and I am happy with that.”
Tonight’s game completes Rhinos’ regular-season Betfred Super League campaign and comes eight days before a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final showdown with Hull.
Burrow has not completely ruled himself out of the Cup clash, but admitted he has only an outside chance at this stage.
“The bone has still got to heal, but everything else is good,” he added.
“My shoulder’s a lot, lot better.
“I would have not been able to play as it was; if I had taken a knock on it I would have been straight out of the game.
“Once the bone heals and the scar is right it will be fine.
“The specialist is saying another three weeks, but I’d like to think if I am ahead I can come back before then.
“I don’t think the semi-final is achievable. We’ve got to be smart with it, it’s not the sort of injury you can get away with.
“If I damaged it again I’d be out for the season, so I’ve got to be smart, but I am ahead of schedule.”
Burrow insisted once he gets the all-clear he will be able to give 100 per cent for the rest of his playing career.
The recent problem is due to metalwork inserted after he suffered a fractured collarbone three years ago. He said: “The bone has healed fine.
“The pin was in there and it could have been in there for life, but obviously I knocked it and it was causing me some pain.
“When I broke my collarbone I had a rod – like a metal bar – put in. That’s been in there since I did it.
“I have got away with it; I was a bit hesitant at times, to be honest and I had it padded up, but the metalwork was giving me electric shock-type pain.
“The bone is fine, there was no fracture there, but I could feel the rod.
“That has been taken out now and I’ve just got to wait for the holes to recover.”