ACT Brumbies speedster Mark Gerrard has returned to training just eight weeks after rupturing the medial ligament in his left knee in the opening minute of Australia’s first World Cup match against Japan.
The 25-year-old has made an amazing recovery from the sickening injury, but is hoping to put the setback behind him and perform well in the Super 14 competition.
"I’m feeling quite good about it," Gerrard said.
"I’m almost fully recovered now and hopefully I can get rid of the injury jinx. It will be my first pre-season for about four years.
"I’ve always been injured at this time. I’m looking forward to getting my knee right and getting back on deck.
"There’s a big year ahead and I know I can get back to my best."
Gerrard said the injury against Japan was the low point of his career, especially after all the hard work he had put in just to make the touring party.
"It was really disappointing because I had worked so hard to get there," he said.
"It was pretty tough and took me a good week and a bit to get over it.
"I was really down and disappointed with what happened until the family came over to France.
"It wasn’t the ideal situation but having my wife and kids around made it a lot easier."
At least Gerrard can console himself with the fact he has age on his side and will get another shot at World Cup redemption in four years’ time.
With Stephen Larkham and George Gregan gone – and more retirements imminent – Gerrard looks like he will be one of the key components of the Wallabies’ revival.
"It’s an interesting time for Australian rugby coming up," he said.
"We have to pretty much change the way we play."