Forced to become a spectator for the past three NRL rounds due to a fractured shoulder, Cronulla Sharks winger Edrick Lee is itching to get back on the park.
Lee sustained the injury in Cronulla's round 18 win over Penrith, but he initially brushed it off as a minor concern.
"I played the next week thinking it wasn't fractured," the lanky outside back revealed.
"I obviously had the scans [afterwards] and it showed up fractured which wasn't a good thing for myself, but I've been able to work on other areas of my body and get it right for the return."
The 25-year-old was close to being named in the Sharks line-up for Saturday's match against the Cowboys, only to have his stint on the sidelines prolonged after his recovery didn't progress as expected.
"I was pushing it for this week but I ran into a bit of complication yesterday [Monday]. Hopefully next week will be the return back to playing," he said.
For now, Lee's role will remain that of supporter. He was like any other Cronulla tragic while viewing last Sunday's heart-stopping 17-14 victory against Melbourne, getting completely swept up in the theatre of the match.
"I was probably one of the biggest fans on the weekend. Watching it on the TV, you're yelling and screaming. [It's a] rollercoaster, watching," Lee said.
"I was stoked for the boys to get the win. It's a very big ask to go down to Melbourne and play against the premiers. It was definitely a win that we needed.
"It was disappointing to watch [instead of playing], but I'm happy for the boys."
Though Josh Dugan, Sosaia Feki and Sione Katoa have all performed well on the wings in recent rounds, Lee is predicted to regain the No.5 jersey when he's fit given his fantastic form pre-injury.
However, the humble giant isn't expecting to be an automatic selection and knows he needs to train well to push his way into Shane Flanagan's backline.
"I'm not too sure where everything's at. The only thing I can control is what I'm doing at training and just focusing on returning, first and foremost," Lee said.
"If I get selected I'll take it with both hands, but the outside backs in the squad that we have here have a lot of experience.
"Whoever gets the spot in the team, they'll definitely perform. It has healthy competition within it as well."
With the Sharks now a legitimate hope of finishing in the top-four, Lee believes fine-tuning on-field connections between players is vital moving into the finals.
"I think it's about making sure we keep working with our combinations and working with our momentum," he said.
"You saw that the two losses we had [to Brisbane and Manly], the brand of football we played wasn't us.
"We headed in the right direction last week against Melbourne, and hopefully it filters through to our home game against the Cowboys this weekend."
Lee has extra motivation to finish the season strongly. The former Raider is departing Cronulla to play for Newcastle in 2019 – and he wants to end his time at the Sharks with a premiership.
"I want to leave the Sharks on a good note," Lee said.
"I definitely want to finish in that top-four and hopefully be playing in the last game of the year."