Rising star Bradman Best could have missed up to half the NRL season with an unusual foot problem, but instead he's ready to be the weapon Newcastle need when the competition resumes.
The coronavirus shutdown impacted most NRL players for the worse, but 18-year-old Best was able to turn the tables in his favour after surgery in February to remove an extra bone in his foot.
The bone was discovered after he suffered a foot fracture, and he was originally set to miss three months, aiming for a round 12 return.
But with the season set to restart next week, Best could end up missing just the two rounds played so far if selected to face Penrith on Sunday week.
"It was a pretty weird one with an extra bone in my foot, I didn't really notice until I got the scans really," Best said.
"Now that the bone is out...I have a normal foot.
"I've had no dramas and the surgeon said he can guarantee me there'll be no dramas ... it feels as good as it did before the surgery."
The hulking teen stormed onto the scene in the final three games of last season, showing no signs of intimidation playing against grown men.
Despite his 103kg size, Best has plenty of pace and could give the Knights some added power in the backline.
With Best and Tautau Moga injured, Enari Tuala and Gehamat Shibasaki started in the centres in the first two rounds of the season.
Now, they're all pushing each other to continue the Knights' unbeaten run.
"We're all making each other better, we're keeping each other accountable," Best said.
"We're bettering ourselves but also wanting to be in that starting team."