You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Papenhuyzen already reaping the rewards of US trip

True Blue squad member Ryan Papenhuyzen says he’s gained more confidence in his knee after a week of intensive rehab in the United States, but he still doesn’t know when he will get back playing.

The popular Melbourne Storm fullback has been having two-hourly sessions, twice a day, with renowned trainer-conditioner Bill Knowles in Philadelphia.

In fact one of Knowles’ first questions to the 24 year-old was when he felt he could return to playing NRL.

“I just said I haven’t really thought about the date. I know I’ll come back but I want to come back when I’m right,” Papenhuyzen told SEN Radio.

“I want to get back to a level I can perform and once I’m there, we can start looking at dates.”

About to enter his fifth NRL season with the Melbourne Storm, Papenhuyzen is reminded of the importance of a proper pre-season.

His 2022 preparation was disrupted by ankle ligament trouble. But he did start Round One last year before a hamstring injury in Round Nine and then a fractured kneecap in Round 18, just three games into his comeback, ended his year.

“The thing that resonated with me here is the fact I want to come back and perform and not just come back,” he said.

“We’ve figured a way to do that without being pressured by outside noise – just sticking to the reconditioning process.

“It’s a lot of information to retain but I’m feeling better personally and the leg is feeling better, which is massive for me.”

Papenhuyzen said he was reaping the gains from being the only one in the rehab squad in Philadelphia as opposed to being one of up to 20 in an NRL environment.

“I think it’s good to get that one-on-one time and I think that’s the main difference. It’s really helped me and (Knowles) is obviously very intelligent and very good at what he does.”

As with any physical injury, there is mental repair needed as well.

“He’s been helping change my mentality: ‘This is who you were before your injury and what do we have to do to get you to that point again’,” Papenhuyzen said.

“It’s very rewarding and fills you with lots of confidence.”

The swift-running No.1 missed the 2022 State of Origin series for the Westpac NSW Blues with a hamstring tear and missed the 2021 series with concussion.

He was named in the 2020 Emerging Blues squad alongside players like Matt Burton and Ryan Matterson who made their NSW debuts in 2022 and Liam Martin (debut in 2021).

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners