He's been physically ready, but the past couple of weeks have been about rebuilding Sia Soliola's confidence.
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said he will give his veteran prop some minutes against the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
It comes after Soliola's spent the past two months recovering from a horrific facial injury he suffered against St George Illawarra in round eight.
He could've played in the Raiders' emphatic win over the Dragons at Wollongong on Saturday, but Stuart held him back to make sure he's ready.
Instead, Soliola was a 34-year-old ball boy and did a quick training session after the game.
He suffered a Le Fort fracture, which needed surgery, and it was initially thought he could be out for the rest of the 2020 NRL season.
But the surgeon's cleared him and he's set to face the Warriors as the Raiders chase a top-four spot over the final two rounds.
Soliola was glad to hear Stuart had said he'd name him on Tuesday, after he returned to contact training with the young players in the bubble - like Ata Mariota and Kai O'Donnell.
"If he said that that's pretty cool. I've been ready the last couple of weeks," Soliola said.
"The surgeon, Dr Witherspoon, and the team out at MaxFax (maxillofacial) and Canberra Hospital they've been awesome.
"They've been really understanding, really professional the way they've handled things.
"Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally they've helped out just to guide me throughout the whole process.
"That's what the last two weeks have been about [building confidence]. More just [putting] my head in those positions.
"Especially this week we ramped up the intensity and no better guys to do it with than the young fellas because they're very raw - there's a lot of unexpected things that could happen.
"If I was to train with someone to get exactly what I needed it was with these young guys, especially the physical contact that I needed."
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Soliola's on the verge of re-signing for 2021 - extending his time in Canberra to a seventh season.
His manager, who also looks after Josh Papalii, was in town last week, with both Soliola and Papalii expected to make announcements early this week.
Papalii's signed a two-year extension to take him through until the end of 2024.
"It's getting close, because my manager came in [to Canberra]. We just need to finalise a few things," Soliola said.
"I'm really happy with the way things have progressed. Especially how uncertain this year's been for a lot of things.
"Given the cloud that's hung around this year the club have been really supportive with my future."
Soliola travelled to Wollongong with the team on Saturday and performed the ball boy duties.
But he did more than just fetch balls during the game - he chatted to the crowd from inside the fence and also acted as an extra set of eyes for the Raiders right edge pairing of centre Jordan Rapana and winger Nick Cotric.
Rapana shifted there to fill in for Curtis Scott (leg), while Soliola spent the first four season of his NRL career in the centres before shifting into the forwards.
Then he headed over to the backfield to get in some training after the game.
"It was fun. I was a ball boy-slash-coach on the sideline - ripping into Jordan and Nick," Soliola said.
"They'll tell you I was just constantly talking to them all the time. Just trying to be another pair of eyes for them.
"I know when I played centre that's a scary position so if you have someone else helping you out that's good."
NRL ROUND 19
Sunday: Canberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium, 2pm.