St Helens scrum-half Matty Smith says he was more nervous about making his playing return for the club than he was about the broken leg that kept him out for the early part of the season.
Smith, 29, moved to the Totally Wicked Stadium from Wigan in the off-season, but suffered injury in a pre-season friendly against Widnes.
He had expected to be out for anything up to four months, but made his return to action in the win over Warrington last weekend.
He said: “It’s been a real quick turnaround. It’s all credit to the surgeon really, I’ve not really had any problems just the fitness.
“Everything’s gone really well and to get that first game under my belt was important and to get that win was massive for the team and hopefully we can build on that now.
“I was more nervous playing for the club than my leg. The expectation on us this year and probably on me coming back. There’s been a little bit of, I wouldn’t say negativity, but there’s certain people wondering why I’ve signed back for the club and all that kind of stuff you get.
“You’ve just got to prove people wrong and that’s what I want to do now.”
Smith’s first away game back in the redvee will be at one of his former clubs, Salford, on Thursday night.
The Red Devils are one of the form teams in the competition, having beaten Castleford 13-12 in their last home game, and then thumping Widnes 46-10 last time out.
Smith added: “I think teams have taken them lightly this year and they’ve come up stuck.
“You can’t do that with any team in Super League now, you’ve got to give everyone that respect and we certainly are doing this week.”
St Helens have been boosted by the news that full-back Jonny Lomax is set to return to action after a four week absence.