Parramatta centre Josh Hoffman admits he feared the worst after hearing a "click" in his neck last month but is now back and ready to create a selection headache for Brad Arthur in the run home to the finals.
Hoffman will return to Bankwest Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the first time since he left the venue in an ambulance after collecting a stray knee from teammate Mitchell Moses in round 14 against his former side Brisbane.
He spent a night in hospital but was cleared of any serious injury.
"It was a big scare, not just for myself but I had my family watching from home and they saw me stay down," Hoffman told NRL.com.
"I felt something click in my neck and had pins and needles down my arm. Naturally I just stayed there. I didn't know what to think and didn't want to move.
"The doctor said we needed a medicab I thought 'no this can't be happening, I don't want to make a big scene out of it'. You don't want to think the worst but you do. I'm lucky to have come out of it unscathed."
Match: Wests Tigers v Eels
Round 17 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
The club's welfare team were quick to communicate with Hoffman's wife Emma, who was watching from home with daughters Leilani and Evie.
"My wife said when she saw my legs moving there was a sigh of relief," Hoffman said.
"She comes from a nursing background so she's used to it and is always helping me. I come home busted and bruised a lot of weeks. It comes with its pros and cons so she knows what she signed up for.
"They were running through my mind as I was being taken from the field."
Parramatta announced the immediate signing of former Panther Waqa Blake in June to add another challenge for Hoffman towards the end of the season with the Fijian international sidelined until round 20 at the earliest.
Hoffman has found a home in the centres since regaining a spot in the backline, with five tries in his past six appearances, but faces an uncertain short and long-term future at the club.
"I'm really enjoying my footy, it's been a rollercoaster since I've arrived here," Hoffman said.
"In the first year I played some consistent footy on the wing and kept my spot. Then I got an injury and I've had to get back into the team.
"Being here now is a bonus and I can focus on coming in each week. I'm not too sure what I'll do after this year.
"Hopefully if I'm doing well Parra can see that I'm looking for a spot again. My family are settled but you never know with footy."