Adam Doueihi no longer needs half-time painkilling injections just to get through 80 minutes of football, and has set his sights on ending the Wests Tigers' two-year hunt for a long-term No.1 as well.
Doueihi arrived at Concord late in the summer having spent most of it recovering from ankle surgery, prompting Michael Maguire to play the former Rabbitohs utility at centre to start 2020.
The past two months in isolation have given Doueihi ample time to fully rehabilitate the right ankle that had him getting needled weekly during his final season at South Sydney, his last game for the club played on basically one leg in a preliminary final loss to Canberra.
While Wayne Bennett wouldn't allow captain Greg Inglis to manage his mounting injuries with painkillers leading into his retirement, Doueihi pushed through his ankle issue in a bid for regular game time.
"I started [getting] the needles around round 13, I was barely training those last few weeks. Some games I'd get re-needled at half-time if I had to,'' Doueihi said on Friday.
"It was something I had to do ... I hate needles - needles and heights are my two biggest fears.
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"Being a young kid like me, and not really having the games behind me or the experience, [you can't] say to the coach 'I want a few weeks off'.
"And I never thought to have a few weeks off. I was probably too scared to not get my position back.
"Wayne was great. There were times I wouldn't train all week and just rock up game day."
With Latrell Mitchell landing at Redfern, Bennett couldn't offer Doueihi the regular game time he craved.
But in returning to his junior club, Doueihi wants to make the Tigers fullback role his own, nailing down a position that has proven a headache since James Tedesco's exit two seasons ago.
Club captain Moses Mbye, Corey Thompson, David Nofoaluma, loaned-out centre Paul Momirovski, Tui Lolohea and Kevin Naiqama have worn the No.1 with varying success since Tedesco's defection to the Roosters.
Standing at 190 centimetres and having bulked up to 95 kilograms, Doueihi looms as an awkward customer for rival defences chiming into the back line.
His 32 NRL games have been spread across fullback, wing, centre, the halves and bench.
But with tuition from the likes of Inglis and Tigers' 2005 premiership-winner Brett Hodgson, he now has the chance to make the No.1 his own, once and for all.
"My first few years in grade I've played nearly every position in the back line," Doueihi said.
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"Although I did come through as a half, the more games I've played at fullback the more comfortable I've felt.
"The more training I'm doing there the more I'm liking it and more confident I feel there. I do see myself as a long-term fullback."
Asked about lessons learned while playing alongside Inglis at Redfern, he pointed to something as simple as which hand he used to direct his defence from fullback as making all the difference.
"Greg was massive for me. Not even in terms of my skills but getting ready and how to deal with pressure during the game."