Big Sam McKendry didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he made a comeback to rugby league last weekend.
The former Kiwi Test and Penrith prop decided to retire at just 30 two years ago after suffering major knee injuries in consecutive seasons.
But after some time away from the game, McKendry decided on a comeback with St Mary’s in the Ron Massey Cup – and things didn’t go to plan.
“I was a bit worried about the knee but it felt fine when I got out there,” McKendry, now 32, said.
“But after five minutes I did my hamstring and had to hobble off.
“I’ve never done a hamstring before in my life – I couldn’t believe it – but it’s not too serious.
“I should be back in a couple of weeks and I’ll try climbing the mountain again.”
Now working as a truck driver, McKendry decided to play with his mates at St Mary’s – a local Penrith club – and is determined to see out the year.
“It’s obviously not as intense as grade football but still pretty serious and still a good chance of getting hurt – as I proved last weekend.
“But it was great to be back out there again and I can’t wait for my next run with the boys.”