Canterbury hero Trent Hodkinson has revealed he thought his NRL career was over in 2012 as he struggled with a serious knee injury.
Hodkinson booted a late field-goal to seal a 15-14 win for the Bulldogs over South Sydney to maintain his stunning season with the boot that has seen him miss just two efforts in 2014.
Remarkably, it was also the seventh time in his career he has kicked a field goal to win a game.
In his second year for the club having joined from Manly, the 24-year-old played just six games and had to undergo stem cell surgery to repair his left knee, in addition to undergoing a shoulder reconstruction.
His form this year has been good for the Bulldogs, who have moved to the top of the ladder after the win against Souths.
And the former Parramatta junior said he’s just pleased to be back playing well enough to put himself in contention for a second City-Country Origin appearance.
“It was tough, I had lots of down days and I questioned whether I’d be back playing and whether I had the confidence in my body,” Hodkinson said.
“It was a demon in the back of my mind but the doctors said I would make a full recovery, even if I didn’t believe them at first.
“It’s all good now, no niggles or injuries.”
Hodkinson was tipped as a future representative player when he burst onto the scene at Manly and the Bulldogs swooped to sign him on a lucrative contract.
He said the surgery he’s undergone has not affected his kicking but admitted he’s lost some pace.
“It more affects my running, my speed, I can’t get the range that I can on my other leg. But it’s no dramas.
“It gives me more confidence with the rest of my game the kicking. I thought I was a up and down tonight … it definitely helps.”