09.10. - Rugby League
St Helens prop Alex Walmsley has revealed the mental battles he faced after recovering from a broken neck.
The 29-year-old missed almost an entire season of Super League but return earlier this year and has featured in 22 games to help Saints reach the Grand Final.
With the Salford Red Devils to face in the showpiece event at Old Trafford on Saturday, Walmsley has looked back at how far he's come since the serious neck injury.
The front-rower has now revealed there were some dark times in his recovery and even after his return to action on the field.
"The biggest hurdle of rehab was the was the psychological one," he said. "It took me a good 10 or 12 games to put those issues behind me.
"I can remember the first game I came back, and while I wouldn't say I was petrified I was nervous and I could only think about how good it would feel to be sat back in the changing room after the game.
"That is all I wanted, I didn't care about the result, the match or the win - I just wanted to get through that game and be sat in the changing room after it.
"I had that battle for a few weeks, but as the time went by the feeling diminished and got to a point where I don't like to think about it."