St Helens hooker Keiron Cunningham will make his long-awaited comeback in Wednesday's testimonial game against Hull FC at Knowsley Road.
Cunningham is out of contract at the end of the 2005 season
The Great Britain international has been out for more than four months following knee surgery and also missed the inaugural Tri-Nations Series.
"It's been a nightmare but you have to take the rough with the smooth in this game," Cunningham told BBC Sport.
"I'm flying at the moment and I can't wait to get out there again."
The return of Cunningham will be a massive boost to Saints.
The Welshman is in his 11th season with the Knowsley Road club and has been a key figure in their success.
He is out of contract at the end of the season but hopes to sign a new deal.
He revealed talks had already begun about extending his stay but his first mission is to prove his fitness prior to the start of Super League X.
"I'd like to sign a new contract but it is not a priority for me at the moment," he said.
"When you have a testimonial, people automatically think you're getting on and coming to the end of your career, but I'm still only 28 and still hungry.
"I've always said that when my desire goes, it's time to hang up the boots."
Cunningham is also keen to don a Great Britain shirt again after missing the Tri-Nations and the 2003 Ashes Series against Australia because of injury.
"I'd love to play for the Lions again," he said.
"I spoke to Brian Noble at the back end of last year and he said the Great Britain shirt was mine if I wanted to play.
"But unless I'm 100% fit, I can't commit to Great Britain. I don't want to end up looking like a fool, not doing justice to either myself or the team."