WHATEVER IS thrown at him this year, Leeds Rhinos forward Adam Cuthbertson reckons it can’t more gruelling than his closed-season break.
The Aussie off-loader revealed he feared for his safety after being taken “really, really ill” during a jungle trek in Cambodia, south-east Asia.
He pulled through after some anxious moments and reckons the positive from a grim experience was it proved his problem knee is fully healed.
Cuthbertson is now in full training and in contention for Sunday’s pre-season game at Castleford Tigers, but recalling his jungle adventure he admitted to some scary moments.
“For part of the holiday we decided to go and stay out in the middle of the jungle with an organisation that rescues Asian elephants,” Cuthbertson revealed.
“This was on the border of Cambodia and Vietnam and the trek to get out there took nearly a day, then we stayed in the jungle overnight.
“We stayed in a little timber hut right on a cliff edge and I woke up in the middle of the night because howls of wind were coming through the hut and I thought it was going to fly off the cliff edge.
“I woke up the next morning and I was a bit crook, but I thought if I got a lot of water in me and a bit of a feed I’d be all right. We took off at about 6.30 and by 7am I realised I shouldn’t be on this trek.
“I had bitten off too much, I had got too far into the trek to turn around, but I was a very sick boy for the whole trip.”
Cuthbertson went on: “The other thing I didn’t realise was I had to carry all our luggage, which was about 15kg on my back for eight hours up and down all these jungle paths.
“It was almost like I did my own pre-season, I was that sick and it was that hard.
“I felt like rolling over and dying at some points.
“I was a bit scared at times, because of the dehydration, but I survived.
“It was literally a 24-hour bug, it was as hot as Hell and I was sweating like crazy, but I was cold the whole time.
“I don’t know what sort of medicine I should have had when we arrived, but I had two cans of Coke and I think that killed off whatever was in me.”
After that, Cuthbertson is confident his knee – which was damaged in last October’s Betfred Super League Grand Final win over Castleford – will stand up to anything that happens on the playing field this season.
“It was a test of how good my knee was going,” he said.
“I was that sick I didn’t think about it until I got home – I thought ‘Jeez, that could have done some damage’, but it was sweet.”
Of his recovery, Cuthbertson, who scored 13 tries in 35 appearances last year, added: “I had it operated on about a week after the Grand Final and it has gone good.
“I had a bit of re-hab’ in Australia and I was given a programme to do. I got through it and I am back fully training now, so it’s good.”