How things can change in a year.
Wednesday, 2 November 2016 is regarded by Josh Mansour as the worst day of his life. Having just returned to Kangaroos camp for the 2016 Rugby League Four Nations, the then-incumbent NSW Blues winger was in career-best form when he ruptured his ACL at training. It resulted in a long 215 days on the sidelines, which would effectively rule him out from State of Origin contention in 2017.
Fast forward 12 months and the Penrith Panthers flyer's world has been turned upside down; he's back in Kangaroos camp and most importantly, he's a new father.
"It kind of freaked me out when I first found out about it. I reversed what was the worst day of my life into the greatest day," Mansour told the Sydney Morning Herald when his daughter's due date became clear back in June. "When I actually found out the day my daughter is going to be born, I froze.
"What are the chances of that? But you know what, it's a good thing in a way because now I will always remember that day for her birth and not my injury. That's a good thing."
Josh Mansour and wife Daniella welcomed daughter Siana into the world yesterday afternoon, exactly one year after the day that threatened to put his representative career on hold. Such is the determination of the 27-year-old that he fought his way back into the Kangaroos fold - and coach Mal Meninga will reward him with his first game back tonight against France.
"He wants to play. He’ll be on a high," Meninga said. "It’s not a negative, it’s a positive thing isn’t it, it’s a huge celebration in his life.
"He’ll be on a high and he’ll want to come back in and play well."
The Kangaroos line up against France at Canberra Stadium, this evening from 8pm AEDT.