For three weeks Dale Finucane was forced to do something he had never done before: sit back and watch his teammates play while he nursed an injury.
The 24-year-old suffered a dislocated wrist in Round 23 against Cronulla, ruling him out for the remainder of the home-and-away season.
However an hour before kick-off in last week's qualifying final against the Roosters Finucane was granted a late call-up to take his place on the bench.
He was forced to wait 20 minutes for his opportunity but when it came he accepted that first hit-up like a bull at a gate, an approach that is beginning to endear him to the Melbourne faithful.
"It was the longest I had ever been out for, I'd never missed any games due to injury before so that was quite new to me," Finucane said.
"I guess you could say I was quite eager to get out there."
Finucane played 44 minutes and made 91 metres from his nine runs as the Storm upset the minor premiers to book a home preliminary final.
When the injury first occurred there were concerns that he would be in doubt come finals time but now the Storm hard-man is adamant he is ready to help the Storm book another grand final appearance.
"It has pulled up sweet, I just pulled the guard on it and strap it up as you do with any injury," Finucane said.
"It didn't trouble me at all during the game and it's been fine during the week at training. It has pulled up well so all good now. I was always pretty confident that was going to be the week I was going to play."
The former Bulldog is seeking redemption in the next fortnight, having been on the wrong side of a grand final result last year against the Rabbitohs.
Though he now wears different colours, Finucane again finds himself within reach of the Provan-Summons Trophy.
"That is the aim for why you play rugby league, you want to play in a grand final," Finucane said.
"We have put ourselves in a pretty good position to do that but having said that though we've got to win a game before that is the case."