Luke Keary has made it through one rehab period to get his knee right and return for the Sydney Roosters after a month out, only to find there is another rebuild to go through.
Keary's first game back after missing three was a 22-8 loss to a far more composed Broncos team at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
The Broncos had not won there in the past five outings against the Roosters but led brilliantly by captain Darius Boyd, they have jettisoned that record in fine style.
Keary set up the only Roosters try – a super little grubber for a flying Blake Ferguson – early in the first half. But then the cracks came and the Roosters crumbled.
The entertaining 26-year-old knows all is not lost. But he expects coach Trent Robinson to go through the finer points this week of why the Roosters lost and what needs to be done to fix it. The Telstra Premiership finals are just around the corner.
The Broncos loss coupled with the Raiders a week earlier, have resulted in the Roosters' first back-to-back losses in 2018.
"We went alright but we just cracked there and they put us under pressure. We just didn't come up with the plays in defence," Keary said.
"We just didn't have many opportunities up their end to do our stuff."
But Keary assures no-one is reaching for any panic buttons.
"No, no, we'll be fine. We'll take a few lessons out of it. It's not as bad as it looks," he says.
"We had a few uncharacteristic tries against us, which we hope won't happen again. We'll go back and review that game and we'll be sweet next week.
"We'll fix a few things. Robbo will identify things for us to work on."
The Roosters lead the NRL in support play, post-contact metres, and kick return metres. But they also lead the competition in errors and ineffective tackles.
"We've identified that ... we had a real bad start to the year with the errors but we've improved a lot in the last half of the year," Keary said.
One of the bright spots is the form of Ferguson, who has made 84 tackle breaks in his 23 appearances this year and averages 199 metres a game.
"He's been good for us all year. He's been one of our best, if not the best, for us in [terms of] consistency," Keary said.
"Away from footy he's having a good life and it's just come onto the field. He'd be one of the form players of the competition."
Ferguson's try against the Broncos was his 15th for the year and 99th of his career.
"We'll get him one next week," Keary said, as the Roosters face the Eels at ANZ Stadium next Saturday in the final round.
"It would be good to see him get the 100 here [at Roosters] because obviously it's his last year with us.
Ferguson, coincidently, has signed with Parramatta for the 2019 season.