Doueihi wants No.6 gig long-term at Tigers

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Adam Doueihi has declared he wants to play in the halves long term at Wests Tigers setting up a looming squeeze of three playmakers into two positions.

Doueihi will make his long-awaited return from his ruptured ACL on Sunday against Canterbury, after 10 long months of rehab.

The Lebanon star will come off the bench and expects to play limited minutes in the backline at CommBank Stadium, as he settles back into full fitness.

But he has made no secret of his desire to claim back the Tigers No.6 jersey.

Doueihi was the easily the club's best last year before his late-season injury, before Jackson Hastings arrived and partnered Luke Brooks this season.

"Long-term I definitely see myself in the halves. No.6 or No.7," Doueihi said.

"I probably prefer No.6. Anywhere in the halves down the track is where I see I will be most comfortable."

Doueihi, Hastings and Brooks are all off contract next year, with a crucial decision ahead on how the Tigers best manage the trio.

Hastings had initially been brought to the club with the thought he could be used as a ball-playing lock, which potentially remains an option.

Doueihi meanwhile said there was no chance he himself would fill that kind of role, but was yet to speak interim coach Brett Kimmorley or head of football Tim Sheens over his long-term role.

"I have just been focused on getting my knee right," Doueihi said.

"I am not fussed with where I play at the moment.

"I just want to get back out there and not muck around with the spine and let everyone do what they have been doing and ease me back in.

"When it comes time down the track we'll sort it out."

The 23-year-old was ready to return a matter of weeks ago, but he agreed with the club's decision to take the cautious approach and hold him back.

Doueihi admitted there had been dark days during his recovery, which marked his second ACL tear in the same knee after a similar blow back in 2018.

He also watched Michael Maguire, the coach who handed him his first South Sydney contract before bringing him across to the Tigers, lose his job.

"There are definitely some dark days," he said.

"You have those thoughts, a lot of spare moments to yourself. You think about some weird things.

"You obviously doubt yourself, will I get back to the player I was, will I keep improving? Will I do it again?

"Those thoughts obviously come in but I am happy to be out the other side now."

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