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Signing on at the Panthers for a further season on Tuesday, utility back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is looking to return to his best after a collapsed lung ruined his 2015 season.

Yet it won't come easy at the foot of the mountains especially when making up for lost time comes in the form of losing excess fat following a passive recovery.

Welcome to Penrith's 'Fat Club', though don't label it that around Watene-Zelezniak.

"I'm in the extras club at the moment – they call it the fat club – but I'd rather call it the extras club," he said. 

"It's the first time I've been there so I have a lot of catching up to do, to get to where I was last year.

"I've had almost four months off since it first happened so I've been out a long while without training and it's good to finally get back out there and work the lungs." 

While the intricacies of the modern game suggests the 20-year-old's current weight of 98 kilograms isn't acceptable, Watene-Zelezniak has confidence he will shed the appropriate five kilos to reach his past playing weight.

Positively too, his past lung complaints are now behind him meaning he can fully focus on the pre-season ahead.

"The specialist said there's nothing to worry about any more and 'to get it out of my head because you're right to go'," Watene-Zelezniak said.

"My lung is fully sweet now and I'm running around 100 per cent."

Having recently been married and now signing a new contract, things are certainly looking up for the St Clair Comets junior.

His strategy to sign consecutive one-year contracts though – in a day and age where security is vital – is a situation where he believes the positives outweigh the negatives.

"It's awesome. I'm happy to be at the club for another year and they believed in me so I have to do my job for the team and give it my all," Watene-Zelezniak said.

"It's a decision my manager has proposed and I've gone along with it because I know whatever he says is best for me. But the one-year contracts to give me a bit of motivation. 

"There are perks and cons involved but it also gives me a chance to work hard and get rewards out of it. I'm just riding the wave and enjoying every moment. It's a stepping stone and I'm going to take this opportunity to make the best of it."

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