Penrith halfback Peter Wallace has revealed he considered retirement last year – but only before his knee blew out again, not after.
The veteran No.7 will not only overcome his second knee reconstruction in as many years when he lines up in Saturday’s season-opener against Canberra, but also crippling doubts over his NRL career.
Wallace admits he feared having to call it quits early in 2015, when his knee failed to fully recover from the first ACL injury he suffered late in 2014.
He attempted to play through the pain, even having minor surgery on it in the early stages of the season, but only lasted 13 games before ending the season.
“If it didn’t go again last year, I don’t think I would’ve gotten through this year on the same knee. It just was never right,” he told AAP.
“It was a week-to-week struggle just to get out on the field, let alone train as well. It was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to me.”
Now the former Brisbane playmaker is back to full health and hopeful of re-igniting his partnership with fellow old head Jamie Soward that led the Panthers to within a game of the decider two years ago.
The pair have been named by new coach Anthony Griffin for round one, staving off challenges from captain Matt Moylan and exciting talent Te Maire Martin for spots in the halves.
“Moyza’s trained at six and Te Maire was in the halves there as well during the pre-season, so we’ve all had a taste of training with each other,” Wallace said.
“It puts us in good stead if one of us happens to not be there, but the last few weeks me and ‘Sowie’ have been training together and it’s been going really well.”
The 30-year-old has also put behind the disappointment of Griffin handing the captaincy to Moylan in the new year, three years after Griffin also told him he was no longer wanted at the Broncos.
“It was disappointing but after sitting down and thinking about it, it’s for the best,” Wallace said.
“Hook (Griffin) said he wanted me to focus on footy this year and just try and have the best year I could possibly have. After sitting down and talking to him, he’s probably right and I’m fine with the decision.
“I support Moyza fully and I’m just looking forward to playing.”