Two years of dealing with chronic pain has finally forced Josh Dugan to have neck surgery but the St George Illawarra star will be right for the start of the 2016 NRL season.
NSW fullback Dugan went under the knife two weeks ago after struggling with the issue at the back end of the 2014 season and throughout 2015.
But after the successful surgery Dugan is confident the problem is behind him.
“It started last year and probably from about round one this year onwards but it just got worse and worse all year and I just did the best I could to manage it,” Dugan said.
“I just didn’t want to be doing the same thing next season.
“I would be hampered, would lose strength, I couldn’t do weights I just didn’t want to go through that again.
“It was no secret there were times I went down that was because of my neck.
“I had three vertebrae pushing down on my neck which in turn was pushing down on the nerves so I was constantly having nerve pain and my fingers would go numb for weeks at a time.”
There is talk Dugan could make a permanent move from fullback to centre in the 2016 season, a position he has played for the Blues in State of Origin.
Recruit Kurt Mann shapes as the most likely replacement at No.1 if Dugan does move into the frontline.
“I will play where ever the teams needs me,” Dugan said.
Dugan will likely resume full training with the Dragons in the New Year.