Raiders prop Ryan Sutton has vowed to overcome a knee injury and return to the field should Canberra make another grand final this season, despite being told earlier this week he was facing up to eight weeks on the sideline.
The 25-year-old has endured a bittersweet week, winning the club's Coach's Award just days after suffering a grade two medial ligament injury which typically carries a six-to-eight week recovery period.
An emotional Ricky Stuart presented Sutton with the honour at the club's annual Mal Meninga Medal awards on Tuesday, saying he "really felt for him" after the Englishman was cruelly cut down on the weekend.
But Sutton refuses to give up on season 2020, and said he would do everything in his power to beat the clock.
"Of course there's a chance, the six to eight week is just a guideline for your everyday person and I'm one of those people that'll work as hard as I can, I'm not letting this year go," a defiant Sutton said.
"There's definitely some optimism, it's a grade two MCL. People have been back in three weeks, people are back in eight weeks, it all depends on the individual person.
"I'm going to give myself every chance - whatever it takes. I'm going to take every day and work as hard as I can to try and get back.
"I'm more than confident that the boys can get us in a position where we can get there again and take it that one step further.
"If I am ready to go then hopefully I'll be knocking on the door, there's four weeks yet til the end of the season hopefully."
Sutton has played 16 matches this season and stepped up amidst the club's injury crisis, which has forced Sia Soliola, Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh to miss significant chunks of the year.
He played most of the regular season last year, but was unable to force his way into Stuart's 17 during the Raiders' finals run.
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The pair have developed a close relationship since meeting for the first time at a Marulan truck stop almost two years ago, and Stuart hosted Sutton at Christmas time last year when the former Wigan Warrior opted to spend the festive period in Australia away from his family.
"He was the first one on the phone to say come round, have Christmas dinner here," Sutton said.
"He's like a father figure to not just me but to all players at the club. He's a really easy bloke to speak to if you've got anything wrong or anything right you can just call him up.
"The emotion that he showed yesterday shows a lot about his character. I owe him a lot because he's given me the opportunity to play in the NRL and bring me into his family.
"I keep saying it, we are a family here. There's people from different areas in the world. It's just good that everyone can be around each other."