Hodgson NRL comeback exceeds expectations
(AAP Image/Albert Perez)
Star Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson's return from an ACL injury has been even better than he expected.
The English international has slotted seamlessly back into the Raiders' NRL side despite only having knee surgery in December following the injury at last year's World Cup.
While Hodgson has dominated in his two appearances, he says he can't get complacent with his rehabilitation.
"I felt really good going into the games and the knee's been pulling up really well, no real stiffness," Hodgson said on Wednesday.
"I've been working really hard when I was injured on the rehab but this is the most important part now when I'm playing not to get a bit complacent.
"It's still a grey area for 18 months, the surgeon likes you to keep on top of it, so there's still a lot of work with it but in terms of games it's been fine."
Hodgson has performed so well he was asked if he thought his return was the best ever from an ACL.
But the 28-year-old answered the question by paying credit to the Raiders' rehab coach Ryan Clayton for having him firing.
"It's always nice to know you fitted in well after coming back," Hodgson said.
"I probably didn't like him (Clayton) for a while because he was flogging me for six months but he's done a fantastic job with me."
Hodgson played the full 80 minutes in the Raiders' loss to Brisbane last Saturday following his first-up performance off the bench against Wests Tigers.
His efforts saw him compared with the most decorated No.9 in rugby league by NSW coach Brad Fittler.
"He (Hodgson) is just such quality. He's got like a Cameron Smith aura on the field, total control of the ruck and he just gets everyone guessing," Fittler told the Nine Network.
"Look at the hooker, he's the first person to get the ball, so if everyone plays off him then it questions the defence every play and that's why Cameron Smith is so good."
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