Papenhuyzen ready for more minutes after NRL return

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Melbourne's Ryan Papenhuyzen joked he had some homework to do brushing up on the Storm team's victory song after making an emotional return to the NRL.

The 25-year-old played his first game in 405 days on Saturday, finally recovering from the shattered right knee-cap that threatened to end his career.

The Clive Churchill medallist received a standing ovation from Storm fans when he stepped on to AAMI Park with just over 20 minutes remaining in their 37-16 win over Gold Coast.

Wearing a precautionary ice-pack on his knee post-match, Papenhuyzen said he felt relieved to have made a successful NRL return.

"The few games in the Queensland Cup helped me a lot, just knowing that the body was going to hold up," Papenhuyzen said.

"It felt really good, really comfortable - the nerves playing my first game for Falcons (in the Queensland Cup) were probably more than this game.

"I will never forget that moment when I went on the field, it was an unbelievable noise the crowd gave me."

While Papenhuyzen made his name at fullback he played through the middle against the Titans, with Nick Meaney remaining at No.1.

Papenhuyzen said he was happy to be back in the selection mix with the Storm facing a clash on Thursday night against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium before the NRL finals.

Melbourne are set to be without injured halfback Jahrome Hughes (knee) and possibly hooker Harry Grant (shoulder).

"It's just nice to be in contention for selection again for the 17," Papenhuyzen said.

"We're a special side and Means (Nick Meaney) has been doing a really good job.

"If Craig (Bellamy) decides I'm good for (longer minutes) he'll put me in the team, and if not that's the way it goes and I just need to be a good teammate.

"I'd just be happy to be in the team wherever."

And as a good teammate, Papenhuyzen said he needed a refresher on the club song after 13 months sidelined.

"I actually forgot a bit of the team song so you'll probably see me next week with it in hand," he joked.