There was a chance Jordan McLean wouldn't pull on a Melbourne Storm jersey again in 2016 after injuring his ankle in Round 17 against the Broncos.
McLean was concussed after a collision was teammate Dale Finucane but injured his ankle in the same incident, with the ankle sidelining McLean for eight weeks, only making his return last weekend against Brisbane.
"I knocked heads with Dale, got dazed and then rolled my ankle at the same time so it was a double whammy from that," McLean said.
The injury turned out to be syndesmosis and surgery was the favoured route for recovery, although the 25-year-old was determined to make a comeback this season.
"I was always hopeful, I don't know if I was confident I would get back though," McLean said.
"There was talks of surgery at one stage but lucky I could rehab it back and managed to get back out there on the weekend.
I was pretty sure it was going to be [surgery], so the only option was to try and rehab it back, but it's still not 100%.
"I was sick of sitting on that bike in the alternate room for the last eight weeks, so it was good to get back out onto the field."
McLean returned off the bench in an impressive display in a losing side, but is unsure whether he'll be given a chance to return to the starting line-up against the Sharks.
"Not sure what it's going to be, whatever's best for the team. Whether that's starting or coming off the bench, that'll be up to Craig [Belamy] I suppose," McLean said.
McLean's return to the 17 is joined by more good news for Storm fans, as five players re-signed with the club on Tuesday morning.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi, Cheyse Blair and Mark Nicholls all committed their future to the Storm, and McLean was pleased with the loyalty shown by the club.
"It's definitely a positive for the club to sign all the boys. Kenny is one of my best mates down here, we've been together for eight years now, so it's just really good for the club to keep people in the system for a long time," McLean said.