Papalii's role in Lui's return from injury

Papalii's role in Lui's return from injury

Dunamis Lui has revealed that support from Josh Papalii helped him battle back from an ACL injury to claim a place in the side to take on the Titans this Sunday.

Having joined the Raiders at the start of the 2017 season, Lui’s season was cruelly ended after he tore his ACL in Round 13 against the Manly Sea Eagles.

With the 28 year old constrained to the sidelines, Lui admits that it was a difficult period for him.

“There were a lot of mental demons,” Lui said. “I did a bit of work two weeks prior to my operation and it was just pretty hard coming to training every day.

“When I came into the gym all the boys were running out onto the training field and I was left in the gym by myself watching them.”

However, help from Raiders second-rower Josh Papalii proved invaluable for Lui.

“Josh Papalii helped me a lot through my rehab,” Lui said. “When I went home the week after I did my ACL, he facetimed me after the game against Newcastle and he still had his strapping on which had my name written on it.

“He told me that he was going to dedicate the rest of the season to me and every game that he was going to play from then on, he was going to write my name on his wrist.

“It may not mean much to people but just watching him in State of Origin and the World Cup and seeing my name while he’s out there and I’m sitting at home really meant a lot. It made me really pumped to get back.”

The versatile forward has worked tirelessly to make himself available for selection in round one and gained plenty of confidence from the Raiders trial match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

“It’s pretty funny because before I got onto the field I was really nervous and all that I was thinking about was my knee,” Lui said. “But straight after I made that first run, I stopped thinking about it and focused on my game.”