Luke Keary says discarded NSW centre Latrell Mitchell is ready to return to career-best form after lauding his attitude during a difficult representative period.
Mitchell was the big beneficiary in Keary's return in Friday night's win over the Wests Tigers, with the pair combining for two tries in three minutes to help guide the Tricolours to victory.
Keary has observed the treatment Mitchell received after he was dropped for the Blues ahead of Origin II and believes there will be a silver lining effect for the Australian international.
"He got dropped two or three years ago here to reserve grade and he got a lot better when he came back," Keary said.
"I know how he reacts to adversity and I know he'll bounce back. From the day he didn't get picked we went into a [Roosters] camp and he was so good I can't explain it.
"You wouldn't have been able to tell, he was happy and vibrant. You don't have to pull him aside and ask if he's OK."
Roosters coach Trent Robinson refuted suggestions earlier this week that Mitchell's dip in form came after Keary's concussion setback saw him take a six-week break from the game.
Robinson said it was "poor" to indicate Mitchell required left edge partner Keary to unlock his best form in his post-match press conference.
"I love playing with him and it's no secret what he's been through with him not getting picked for the Blues," Keary added.
"It's hard to watch him go through that, it's hard to see someone you love get hurt. But the way he's carried himself through the whole thing he hasn't said a word and trained harder than before.
"He hasn't dropped his bundle. It was good to see him do what he does on the field."
Keary was relieved with his own return to the game but admitted to being more nervous than usual after reports emerged this week of two former players being diagnosed with degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
His return to the field has coincided with multiple current and former players indicating they plan to donate their brains to medical experts when they are deceased.
"It threw a bit of a spanner, I was OK until the start of last week when it all started. But it's alright, I was aware of the talk around it," Keary said.
"It drills it home and is a real issue in our game. It's not the greatest to be the face of it but it is a real issue we need to talk about.
"My nerves went straight away, I had to take the first kick off so it was gone."
The 27-year-old was tipped to wear a NSW jumper two months ago but is now focused on helping the Roosters defend the Telstra Premiership.
"It wasn't the greatest timing when it all happened but things like that you can't control it and I knew straight away I'll have to have a bit of time off but that's life.
"I think it will the first time we play with a full spine the whole year. I can't wait, I can't wait for the next few months of footy."