Huddersfield Giants forward Brett Ferres will be aiming to make up for lost time when he returns from suspension for Sunday's First Utility Super League derby with Bradford Bulls at the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
The creative second rower, who was a big success for England in the World Cup, has not played since early April after being given a five-match ban for a dangerous throw but says he will return fitter than ever after making good use of his enforced lay-off.
"It's been a long time," Ferres said. "The five weeks have dragged pretty slowly along so it's nice to back and available for selection this week.
"I missed out on the pre-season so it's been a good opportunity to get some conditioning sessions under my belt. Greg Brown has put a good five-week programme together for me and I'm probably fitter and stronger now than I was before so it's been quite beneficial to me."
The 28-year-old Ferres, who began his professional career at Bradford, was a try scorer in the Giants' 66-18 win over his old club at Odsal in March.
He goes into a Huddersfield side that has won their last four matches but is warning his team-mates to expect a backlash from the Bulls, who went down 50-0 at home to St Helens on Sunday.
"We've just got to concentrate on ourselves," he said. "Bradford are a good side, we know that.
"They've beaten some top teams and took some heavy defeats lately too so we'll just worry about ourselves. We've got a bigger picture to look at for the end of the season so we need to keep building towards that.
"We've just got to keep gaining momentum and hopefully we can do that by putting together a good performance in on Sunday and getting two more points."