It's been so long since Ryan James last played, his return on Saturday was the first time two-year-old son Brooklyn had seen him in action.
And the Canberra Raiders recruit looked like he'd barely missed a beat in the 26-20 trial loss to the Sydney Roosters at Seiffert Oval.
James' last NRL action was in round six in 2019, when the then Gold Coast captain went down with his first knee injury - an injury he'd repeat the following year.
But 22 months later and he's back - and his efforts put him squarely in the mix to be part of the Raiders side to take on the Wests Tigers in round one at Canberra Stadium on March 14.
Knee injuries aside, that's no small feat given the plentiful forward stocks at Canberra coach Ricky Stuart's disposal.
Played in both trials on the weekend - the Raiders' NSW Cup team also played the North Sydney Bears - James was the first prop Stuart used off the bench against the Roosters.
James felt good after the game - but he was expecting to be a little sore in the coming days.
"It was actually the first time my young kid has seen me play," he said.
"He's nearly three and he hasn't seen me play a game of footy. I was happy for them to watch me run out there and play some footy and it was a very proud moment.
"I think he knows what dad does now - he doesn't just train."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
Whether or not it was enough to earn a spot against the Tigers, James was unsure.
He's just happy being back. And he'll continue just putting himself in the mix at training over the next week until selection.
The Raiders have a raft of options when it comes to middle forwards.
Only Josh Papalii, Sia Soliola and Joe Tapine would be certainties to line up against Wests.
Even Queensland State of Origin prop Dunamis Lui could find his spot under pressure such is the depth.
Emre Guler, Ryan Sutton and Siliva Havili are also fighting for limited spots - with likely suspension the only thing keeping Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera out of contention.
"I was just happy to get out there and have a run - get the monkey off the back and play some footy," James said about round-one prospects.
"It's been a long time and I'm just happy to finally do it."
James noticed the changes in the speed of the game since his last outing - with the six-again rule coming in last season.
"It was good just to get that one out of the way. First 20 minutes my legs were heavy ... and the longer I went the better I felt," he said.
"The game's changed a lot in the last two years. It was a little bit different to get used to the six-agains and having to make continuous tackles, but it's something I'm just going to have to learn on the run.
"I used to punch out a fair few minutes, but hopefully playing not that long here is going to make it easier getting through [the faster pace].
"A couple of six-again sets and you're just making tackles on tackles on tackles, and it turns into a defensive game and almost takes your run out of it.
"It's a totally different game, to tell you the truth, since I last played."
NRL ROUND ONE
March 14: Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium, 4.05pm.