Leeds Rhinos player Stevie Ward has spoken of his relief after the "dark moments" he suffered after dislocating his shoulder ahead of his team's Super League Grand Final clash.
After today being cleared for the match, he said: "It's really a relief. From almost going to hell and back on Friday [last week] with the procedure and process I had to go through - with getting my shoulder back in and waiting 10 hours - there was dark moments.
"To have a flipside like this a week later, it's quite surreal."
The 23-year-old has suffered various injuries at crucial moments over the last few years.
He added: "There's only so many times you can go through the process and miss finals and do the work all the way through the year and miss the big climax.
"There was almost thoughts of, not giving up, but moving on. I had to think about what I wanted to do.
"I was in such pain. I as in agony. And it was a long spell of agony. It was a tough time. I just had to give in to the pain and see what come of as of this week.
"I made a decision on Sunday to turn around playing, playing in the Grand Final and do my best. I made that decision and that choice and luckily it's paid off."
Speaking today at Banyan in Leeds city centre, where the team were being catered for ahead of the game, Ward also spoke about the "chilled" atmosphere ahead of the match.
Team mate Anthony Mullally also said that to win the clash - his first final - would be a "dream come true".
He said: "I've heard the stories and I've seen it - it's something I've dreamed of since I was a little kid."
The prop, an Ireland international, has scored in the last three games.