Western Force flyhalf Jono Lance will be aiming to put 16 weeks of frustration behind him when he runs out in the Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Lance started the season in hot form, but his progress was halted by a pectoral tear in round three that required surgery.
The 26-year-old could only watch on from the sidelines as the team crashed and burned from that point, resulting in the sacking of coach Michael Foley last month.
Lance is finally ready to return to the No.10 jersey this weekend, and he’s hoping the frustrations of the past four months will melt away once he enters the field of play.
“There were some times when I was quite down and depressed,” Lance said of his long injury layoff.
“But there’s such a good group of guys here, I’ve got a lot of friends who I’ve been mates with since teenage years.
“So having them around and helping them has been something I’ve done.
“Finishing my business management degree at uni has been helpful for the mind as well.”
The Force are still in danger of collecting the wooden spoon for the second-straight year.
Foley was axed after leading the team to just two wins from 12 games this year.
Dave Wessels has been appointed interim coach for the remainder of the season, and Lance said the team was desperate to finish with a bang.
“Certain guys are moving on at the end of the year, so we really want to use these three games to gel together and show the boys off on a high,” Lance said.
Lance struggled for game time during his stints at the Reds and Waratahs.
The Canberra-born playmaker is contracted with the Force for another season and said he was keen to honour that deal.
The Force are hopeful of being able to attract more star players now that they’ve formed an alliance with the Australian Rugby Union.
But key players such as Kyle Godwin and Nathan Charles are rumoured to be on the move at the end of the season.