Canterbury hooker Michael Lichaa admits he's still not completely confident in the knee injury that sidelined him for three weeks earlier this NRL season.
Lichaa was initially expected to miss up to six weeks with after tearing the meniscus in his knee in the first game of the year, but made a surprise comeback for the Bulldogs in round five.
He has played every single minute since, but conceded he's yet to reach peak form.
"Obviously my confidence has been a little bit down the last 2-3 weeks but that's no excuse," he said.
"Every player goes through it in their career. I've just got to get out there and have a good game this weekend."
The 22-year-old was initially given the option to have the meniscus stitched back together, a process that would've needed at least three months recovery time.
In the end the former Cronulla rake opted for a full cannot in an attempt to avoid the same frustration he had of missing the club's run into the finals last year.
"When the surgeon gave me the options of two operations, there was no way I was doing the long one after last year," he said.
"It was probably the hardest time for any footy player to miss footy and the outside world don't see it but the stuff you have to do get back on the field is pretty crazy.
"I wasn't looking forward to 3-4 months on the sidelines."
Limited in training, Lichaa could now be limited in minutes on the field after coach Des Hasler named back-up hooker Craig Garvey on an extended bench for this week's clash against Gold Coast.