Halifax’s Simon Grix has said his return from injury in Saturday night’s Championship fixture at Whitehaven has reassured him he has “still got it” after almost two seasons on the sidelines.
Grix, who first joined Fax as a teenager before forging a formidable reputation over a decade in Super League with Warrington, had not laced a boot in anger since late in the 2014 season, when he suffered a career threatening leg injury playing for the Wolves.
But he finally returned to action as a substitute on the Cumbrian coast, turning in two spells as Fax came away with a 12-12 draw.
The former King Cross junior, who is also coaching Fax’s reserve side, looked rusty before the break, but impressed in the final quarter as a ball-playing loose forward, carving open Haven’s right side defence on several occasions.
“It’s a box ticked for me, the first one out of the way,” said Grix.
“Rich (Marshall) wanted me to play, for my own head as much as anything.
“I was worried about playing and now I’ve done it I don’t feel like I can’t do it anymore.
“I’ve still got it, I just need some time to get back up to speed now.
“I just didn’t want to be a passenger or make us any worse than we already were.
“I didn’t really have an impact in the first half, I was probably playing before I’d got the ball in my hands, but I think I showed something in that second spell and that gives me something to work on.
“Sometimes on the edge, you need to wait for things to happen sometimes whereas in the middle you can make them happen.
“I felt I did that, I did okay there, but to play in the middle full time you need some lungs and I don’t have those yet.
“I’ve not trained enough for that, but it’s out of the way now.
“I didn’t really think about the leg; to break that would need a leg breaking blow and that would just be one of those things.
“I wasn’t thinking about it and that’s probably been one of the downfalls through my career; I tend to get past injuries pretty quick and play without much self preservation.
“I’ll get better, it’s been a long time.”
Grix’s return was arguably the sole bright spot of an otherwise disappointing evening, with Fax making error after error as they conceded another point in the race for a lucrative top four finish.
“We just didn’t penetrate enough, we tried to go round them before we’d gone through them,” said Grix, who could make his second appearance in this weekend’s trip to Dewsbury (3.0).
“Whitehaven are a good team at the moment and they probably deserved the points if we’re totally honest.
“We were like a different team, compared to the last few weeks.”