Kelepi Tanginoa should be in Manly's casualty ward preparing for the 2019 season after he was diagnosed with an anterior cruciate ligament injury earlier this year.
But instead and against all the odds, the bench forward will play his second game in a row on return for the Sea Eagles on Saturday night against the Storm at Lottoland.
Tanginoa went down in Manly's round-four win over Canberra, with initial diagnosis showing both medial and ACL damage.
But miraculously, the usually season-ending ACL problem mended itself within weeks.
"The injury that we treated first was the most severe one, that was the MCL," Manly's head of performance Dan Ferris said.
"You have to heal the MCL before you have the ACL surgery, that's just the protocol if you do both.
"So we braced him for six weeks and that was just enough to get that ACL surgery. And when he gets a scan and checks it all, the ACL's healed and it was just one of those lucky things."
Tanginoa threatened to be one of the Sea Eagles' brightest stars this year before his injury and the dramas that followed.
A prop who debuted for Parramatta at aged 19 in 2013, the now 24-year-old struggled to get a consistent run in first grade at both the Eels and North Queensland before shifting to Manly midway through last year.
But he made a point in the pre-season by outlifting arguably the game's strongest man in Martin Taupau at the Sea Eagles, before impressing as a real power runner off the bench.
He was then equally impressive in his return before Manly's bye in their shock win over Penrith, getting through 35 minutes on return unscathed without coming back through reserve grade.
"We could see it in the off-season, we got Kelepi midway through last year and he got a full off-season with us," Ferris said.
"He was lifting the most weight in our gym by far. He put his foot down from November 1 and went all the way through.
"We were really hoping for a big year and it was really unfortunate, we were all devastated by that injury.
"But we're all ecstatic about the way he's come back."