St George Illawarra forward Tyson Frizell has allayed concerns over missing the start of the season due to his reoccurring back complaint.
Frizell's back issues came to the forefront this time last year and restricted his pre-season greatly, where he was forced to withdraw from the inaugural World All Stars team.
However Frizell said the current severity of the injury doesn't compare to the cards he was dealt last pre-season.
While Frizell added his back woes will be something he'll have to maintain for the remainder of his career, it wasn't as dramatic as it sounded.
It also didn't stop the 25-year-old from producing a career-best season in 2016 where he made his debut for both New South Wales and Australia.
"Before the [Four Nations] final I had a little hiccup with my back. It's something I'm not unfamiliar with and that I've learnt to look after this time around," Frizell said.
"Hopefully I'll be back to full training by the end of the month. It's the exact same thing as I had last year. It won't require any surgery rather just a bit of time off.
"It's something I can manage. Hopefully I'll get one or two trials in and I'll definitely be right for Round 1."
On his breakout season, Frizell said he never expected the accolades to come so early in his burgeoning career.
"It was a year I'll never forget. Hopefully I can use it to become a better player moving forward," Frizell said.
"I never thought everything would come so quick obviously with Origin, playing consistent footy for the Dragons and then getting opportunities with the Prime Minister's team and at the Four Nations.
"From my debut to now I've slowly progressed through my rugby league career in terms of my confidence. It's been a long thing for me but I was blessed to get an opportunity at Origin level and to play overseas."
Frizell is hoping to turn his success into a means of seniority over the Dragons' young cohort of stars.
With former skipper Ben Creagh, Mitch Rein, Benji Marshall and Mike Cooper all departing over the off-season, the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership season will present Frizell the opportunity to take another step up.
"We have a pretty young squad at the moment so even at 25 I've played a bit of footy now. We've put last year to bed and worked through everything that happened. Now I'm hoping I can bring more to the team," he said.
"I'm not sure if I'll be one of the senior players around the team but I'll put my two cents worth in wherever I can. I'll be happy to work hard on the field and hopefully help lead the team to a healthy kind of year."
This article first appeared on NRL.com