It might have been just 29 minutes but rarely has so little time on the field meant so much to Vodafone Warriors captain Tohu Harris.
While coming back from any significant injury is challenging, returning from a knee construction is more difficult than most.
So on Saturday Harris faced his moment of truth 300 days since his last NRL appearance against Penrith last July, a match which had ended in grim fashion when he was helped off the field with an ACL injury.
With Saturday’s Magic Round match against South Sydney 22 minutes old, Harris had the #2 interchange card in his hand ready to be injected.
The scoreboard wasn’t pretty, the Vodafone Warriors already down 0-14 after conceding three tries.
They had possession as Harris went to the touchline only to turn it over on the third tackle on halfway so, instead of running out onto the field, Harris for the defensive set as the Rabbitohs launched again from a scrum.
They soon had a six-again call as well and moments later had their fourth try through fullback Blake Taaffe.
All Harris could do was watch. By the time he was in action, 25 minutes of the half had gone before he chased the restart to join in a three-man tackle on Rabbitohs prop Thomas Burgess.
Now Harris was back where he wanted to be, able to have 15 minutes before halftime, refresh during the halftime break and then another 14 minutes at the start of the second spell.
He was busy throughout with 48 metres from six runs, a line break assist, 24 tackles and no errors.
“It was obviously really nice to be back rather than watching,” said Harris afterwards.
“I still have to build up the capacity to be able to last a bit longer.
“It was a bit of shock out there today especially with the amount of defence we had to do.
“I know I’ve got a lot of to do but I really enjoyed my time out there. Hopefully I can keep building on it.”