Terry Campese's desire to win a premiership with the Queanbeyan Blues nearly cost the veteran playmaker a Rugby League World Cup swansong.
Campese is in the frame to represent Italy at the World Cup and could play his last game in what promises to be an emotional homecoming at Canberra Stadium against Fiji on November 10.
His love of the Blues threatened to deny him the send off he's been dreaming of after he was left fearing a torn bicep following the Canberra Raiders Cup grand final.
Campese is walking wounded with an arm injury to go with six stitches in his lip and dissolving discs in his back that left him barely able to walk for three days.
But the former Raiders skipper is confident he'll be fit to throw on a different shade of blue for the World Cup, with the chance to play in Canberra one of his biggest drawcards for the tournament.
"That's still over a month away, a couple of months until we play here in Canberra. That shouldn't hinder me at all," Campese said.
"The side of my elbow, I have to go get it looked at later in the week. There's a massive lump there and it's all bruised up so it's pretty sore.
"The whole body is pretty sore actually, six stitches in the lip, but it all makes it sweeter when you win."
Campese's man of the match effort against cross-town rivals the Queanbeyan Kangaroos is made all the more remarkable given he was almost bed-ridden three days before the decider.
He struggled to walk and didn't work from Monday to Wednesday, getting daily massages to get him through until grand final day.
He couldn't even train on the Tuesday night, but it mattered little as he put in a man of the match performance in the decider to inspire the Blues to a 13-6 win.
"I've got a couple of dissolving discs in my back and every now and then it just plays up. It just stiffened right up on me," Campese said.
"When I came off [in the preliminary final] my back went on me. I just walked off, I didn't want to make a big drama of it, because if the Roos had seen it they just would have targeted me. I just walked off like there was nothing wrong.
"I couldn't walk on Monday, I went into work and I couldn't move. I was struggling all week but obviously just kept it low key and didn't really want many people to know about it.
"The guy I work with, he pretty much did all my work for me throughout the week so he helped me out a lot."
The Bradley Clyde Medallist was a late arrival to post-match celebrations after a paying a quick visit to hospital to get six stitches in his lip following the Blues' third premiership win in four years.
Italy's clash with Fiji is the last of three World Cup games in Canberra, following France's clashes with Australia and Lebanon.