Eels prop David Gower says he feels back to full strength after what he described as a scary injury back in round two threatened to derail his season.
Gower suffered a pinched nerve in his neck after having his neck pushed back in a flexion type injury in round two against the Bulldogs.
Gower said he thought it was just a burner but it got progressively worse as time went on.
The 33-year-old ended up missing seven weeks before coming back through Canterbury Cup for Wentworthville and then getting a recall from Brad Arthur for the round 12 win over the Rabbitohs.
"It was a frustrating time for me personally and I'm just happy that I'm fit again and Brad's given me the opportunity and I'm just trying to do my job to the best of my ability," Gower said.
"I pinched a nerve in my neck and that impacted my shoulder strength. It was pretty scary there for a little while. I lost a lot of shoulder strength and a lot of size in my deltoids but I'm really happy I'm back to 100 per cent.
"It was a little bit awkward, I was a bit unsure of the time frame around my recovery."
Gower said he used the lay-off to work as diligently as he could with the club's rehab team to rebuild his strength.
"I did that and with the help of a great rehab team and really good physios I was able to get where I needed to get to play again," he added.
The hard work paid off with Gower arguably the best forward on the park against Souths, racking up 173 metres, six busts and two offloads as well as making 18 tackles.
"On a personal note I was very happy with how I played," he said.
Gower has taken on a role with the club's wellbeing and education department this year as he completes a Certificate IV in Elite Athlete Wellbeing Management with an eye to his post-playing career.
"I'm feeling physically really good now so I just want to play well and just see where that leaves me," he said.
"Whether I do play on another year or whether I do transition into an off-field role I'm not sure. As long as the body is feeling good and I'm making a difference for the team I'd like to think I can play on."