Damien Cook has revealed how sensory deprivation and cold therapy allowed him not to only return to the park three days after State of Origin III but to turn in a blinder as well.
On a weekend when the likes of Melbourne, Sydney Roosters and Penrith rested their NSW and Queensland stars, Cook was a standout in South Sydney's convincing 24-6 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Anthony Seibold could have given his No.9 an early shower, especially with youngster Adam Doueihi sitting on the bench.
However, he played all but eight minutes despite playing just three days after the Blues' game three loss to Queensland.
Cook was unlucky not to win the Wally Lewis Medal for the most outstanding player during the Origin series and picked up where he left off against the Bulldogs.
Not only did he provide spark out of dummy-half, cutting open the Bulldogs defence to set up Adam Reynolds' try, he topped the tackle count with 45.
"(NSW coach Brad Fittler) Freddy was big during the camps on saying, 'When you go back to your teams, make sure you go back there and play your best footy for them'," Cook said.
"I believe they're a big reason why I was able to play Origin because they allowed me to play good footy.
"I wanted to come back and repay them and play consistent footy."
Asked about how hard it was to get himself mentally prepared for a second game in four days, Cook said it was a bigger battle to get himself right physically.
In preparation, he undertook cryotherapy, which is commonly known as cold therapy and involves being immersed in cold temperatures to aid the recovery of soft-tissue injuries.
He also had a session in a sensory deprivation tank, or float tank.
"It's just more about getting the body right," Cook said.
"I had a big day yesterday just doing recovery, cryotherapy, the float tanks and massage, make sure I'm in the best shape possible and recovered as much as I can going into the game.
"The mental side of it was no problem at all. I was excited to come back and play."