Penrith Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards said his recovery from a shoulder injury would have been a lot tougher had he not had his partner and his newborn by his side.
With one full NRL season under his belt, Edwards was eager to secure the No.1 jersey long-term in the first two months of the 2018 season.
Then in the Panthers' 22-14 win over the Bulldogs in round eight the 23-year-old surged for the try-line and dislocated his right shoulder – joining teammates Nathan Cleary, Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Sam McKendry and Tim Browne in Penrith's packed casualty ward.
"It was really tough," Edwards told NRL.com.
"I'm lucky I had a good support network around me to get me through it.
"I had a newborn at the time so coming home to her every day was the best thing for me – it really did put things into perspective knowing that my life is not all about footy now.
"I can't thank my partner enough either, she was amazing and did everything for me.
"The club's support was also second to none, with our welfare staff at the Panthers really looking after me, always checking in and making sure I was OK."
Although the fullback's surgery and rehab went as planned, Edwards said it didn't compare to the feeling of being back in action with the team this year.
"I had a really good recovery and rehab, I was almost ahead of time and all went how I hoped it would," Edwards said.
"But it's great to be back with the team.
"When you're off to the side doing your rehab runs by yourself it gets quite lonely and I missed being out there with the boys and having a laugh with them."
The 23-year-old returned to the field in the Panthers' 28-8 trial victory over South Sydney on Saturday, getting the fullback spot ahead of New Zealand skipper Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
"With it being my first game back I was quite nervous," Edwards said.
"I wasn't really thinking about where I was playing or who I would be competing against for the No.1 jersey, it was good to just get out and have a run around again.
"I thought our effort was great against the Bunnies, we always want to compete and I felt like we did that.
"An area where we can probably improve on from when I was on in the first half would just be our rucks, they sometimes got away from us so we need to tighten that up."