Injured for most of the 2018 NRL season, representative props Matt Scott and Jordan McLean were a welcome sight for Cowboys fans in Friday night's 20-18 win over the Knights.
While there were doubts about Scott ever returning due to his chronic neck injury, the Cowboys co-captain insisted that early retirement was never on the cards.
"I was always pretty confident that I could get back on the field," he said.
"I only missed four games in the end which is not a bad result. I never like missing any but I'm happy to be back."
Although it wasn't career-ending, Scott's recovery from injury was far from pleasant, having to push through the pain at training and on game day, with the help of the Cowboys medical staff.
"I had to have an epidural and a cortisone, it didn't work as well as they normally would," he said.
"I still get a little bit of pain but I've got to a stage where I can train and I can manage it and I could get out there and still do my job."
McLean played his fifth game for the Cowboys on Friday and was just happy to be back on the field.
Match Highlights: Cowboys v Knights - Round 20, 2018
"It was obviously good to be back and good to get the win, the foot pulled up sweet so that's all good," McLean said.
When told that coach Paul Green had commended his efforts to come back this year, McLean produced the obvious reasoning for playing again in Johnathan Thurston's final season.
"Six games to go and Johnno's last year is a pretty easy excuse to get back, but in saying that I wanted to get back," he said.
"I feel like I needed to go out there and do my job for the team. We've obviously been having a bad patch this year and it's probably not the best year we've had so to get out there and help the boys out through this tough time is what I was keen to do."
Looking forward, the young prop is eager ruin some finals runs as the regular season comes to a close, and he'll need to be at his devastating best if the Cowboys are to have a chance against the Roosters in Sydney in round 21.
"I think we can still go out there and play our best footy at the end of the year and send Johnno off on a high," he said.
"We've got standards and we want to play to our standards so hopefully we can do it for the rest of the year."