Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle had never gone under the knife for a major injury until 2017 when he was forced to undergo two shoulder surgeries in the same year.
His first surgery was after an incident in 2017 pre-season and the second was after their round-19 clash with Manly when Jake Trbojevic left him with a dislocated shoulder.
The former Australian Schoolboys representative is ahead of schedule this season, getting the jump on Pita Godinet, Matt McIlwrick and the injured Josh Reynolds in the queue for the Wests Tigers' No.9 jersey.
"Having a major injury was something I hadn't dealt with before," Liddle said.
"It was a bit frustrating, it put a bit of a halt to my rhythm I guess but I'm back this year and I'm trying to get that rhythm back.
"I wasn't expecting to be in the No.9 jersey this early but I put a lot of work in, in the pre-season and come back stronger than I was last year."
The Tigers left Scully Park in Tamworth last Saturday with their second loss of the season after the Knights staged a late comeback to win 22-20.
Eels v Wests Tigers - Round 8
And despite the Tigers' forwards dominating in the opening rounds of the Telstra Premiership, prop Ben Matulino said their performance last weekend simply wasn't good enough.
"Our defence in the middle wasn't up to scratch, we couldn't really match them," Matulino said.
"The outside backs got a lot of quick play-the-balls and marched us down the field early."
Matulino understands things will need to change as they come up against a confident Parramatta side which snapped a six-game losing streak in spectacular fashion last Sunday in their 44-10 victory over Manly.
"Knowing the way Parramatta starts every game, they come out a hundred miles an hour so we'll have a tough task on our hands," Matulino said.
"They definitely turned their season around. Things are starting to click for them and they have so much attacking flair across the park. We're going into the game thinking it's going to be the best Parramatta team."
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