Parramatta hooker Nathan Peats will make his return from a broken neck in the NRL club’s final trial match against Penrith on Saturday.
The Eels meet the Panthers at Pepper Stadium with Peats to take the field for the first time since suffering the injury in mid-August last year.
The 25-year-old former South Sydney rake had hoped to play in the Eels’ trial against Gold Coast Titans in Alice Springs last weekend but opted on the side of caution.
“I am fully fit now I am all good, even though it was disappointing to miss last week,” Peats said at the launch of Parramatta’s indigenous jersey on Monday.
“I wasn’t so much ruled out as we had a plan to play this week the last trial and we decided to stick to that plan.
“I am all good and looking forward to playing the Panthers this weekend.
“I have been doing contact for a few weeks now and full weights since I came back to pre season. I am not fussed about it any more.”
Peats underwent surgery on the injury after playing the final 35 minutes of the round 23 loss to Sydney Roosters.
With 10 minutes to play Peats made an unsuccessful attempt to stop a barnstorming Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on his way to the tryline and knows how lucky he was.
“It could have been a lot worse, I guess somebody up there was looking after me,” Peats said.
“It was hurting, I knew something wasn’t right but that’s just footy, plenty of guys play with pain and that is what I did, when I found out the next day I was in shock.”
The Eels will play in their indigenous jersey for the first time in their round 10 home match against the Rabbitohs.