Sosaia Feki played his first game for Castleford in 693 days in their 20-12 defeat at St Helens, earning praise from both coaches after the game.
The 31-year-old winger joined Castleford on a three-year deal from the NRL ahead of the 2020 season, but has been limited to just one appearance due to torrid luck with injuries.
On Sunday afternoon, Feki made his long-awaited return to play his second game for the Tigers first team – almost two years to the day since his last appearance.
“The rollercoaster he had been on prior to me getting here was a crazy one,” Castleford coach Lee Radford told Love Rugby League after their defeat at St Helens.
“We got him back and sent him out on loan but he got injured in a reserve game before he could actually go out on loan. We had a look at sending him out on loan last week, but then we needed him as 18th man. It has been hard for him.
“It was good see him back and I thought he was really strong on the field. We’ve got five games left so hopefully he can add something to us.
“It is an incredible amount time to be away from the field. He has built an unbelievable relationship with the physio, let’s put it that way! It’s a crazy amount of time to be sat on the sidelines so hopefully that is well and truly behind him now.”
Tonga boss Kristian Woolf full of praise for Sosaia Feki
Saints coach Kristian Woolf has previously coached Feki on the international stage for Tonga.
“Feks played under me in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016,” Woolf told Love Rugby League.
“He has been a big part of Tonga for a long time. He’s a great fella. For those years he was our number one choice (winger).
“He is a great fella and a good player who has had a great career. It was really good to see him back out there playing again. He did a good job for a bloke that has been out so much for so long.
“I think that is the second game of footy I’ve seen him play since I’ve been over here. It is great to see him back playing and I hope he stays injury free.”