Healthy Ross confident he's still top dog
Newcastle winger Nathan Ross described his painstaking recovery from a groin injury as one of the hardest things he has had to overcome.
While the 'RossDog' said there were still some lingering effects, he is confident of getting through the full 80 minutes in his return to the starting line-up against the Titans on Saturday after playing the final stages of last week's win over Parramatta.
"I got really frustrated given that I am a person who likes to move fast in everyday life," Ross said.
"So to live my life in a way that I was not used to living was hard, and then being in rehab is quite difficult, sitting up on a mezzanine floor on an exercise bike when everyone else is out on the field - mentally it was quite challenging.
"It's quite a complex area of the body. I have had a fair bit of disruptions down there, but we're on top of it now, and although it is something that will linger around for a little bit, I feel that I am 100 per cent to play."
It was not just the recovery that stood in his way. Ross said the competition for positions in Newcastle's back-line meant that he had to prove himself as the best option for Nathan Brown - not just this year but with Sharks duo Edrick Lee and Jessie Ramien joining the club in 2019.
"It just shows how far the club has come, I had to prove that I was a first-grader again," he said.
"Browny put me back to reserve grade [Intrust Super Premiership], and I went back there and showed just how hungry I was to play for this club.
"[When] 100 per cent fit, on any given day, I am still up there with the top outside backs in the competition."
The Knights are chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since April. Given that they are the only teams in the competition to concede at least 400 points, a high-scoring match is on the cards.
"Browny has given me more of a licence to roam and pop up around the ball," Ross said.
"He wants me to have an extremely high work rate this weekend - kind of like I have been playing for Newcastle in the previous couple of years."