Dom, Saturday will be exactly 365 days since you got injured last year. It’s been a long journey hasn’t it?
Yeah it’s felt like a lifetime since I was last out there with the lads, I’m just really looking forward to getting back out there now playing for the Reserves. Hopefully then I’ll be ready to go whenever I’m asked.
What do you remember about the game last year?
My head just went, I was in shock and I knew straight away that something wasn’t right. I got in the changing rooms and the physio said straight away that my ACL had definitely gone. I then went and had a scan and it was worse than I first thought, two ligaments had gone and a whole load of other stuff too. I was gutted.
How hard has this last year been for you?
Yeah it’s been really tough, the hardest year of my life by far. Not being able to leave the house for three months really got to me, those were dark days. I had my family around and teammates and staff who have all just kept me going. I couldn’t do anything, I was still living at my mum’s at first then moved into my own place, I had to ring my mum on my first night there to get her to come and help me get upstairs! I was going to sleep on the couch but I was in that much pain I was shaking and couldn’t sleep at all.
How frustrating has it been watching on from the sidelines this season?
Playing all of last season and then missing out on the Grand Final was the toughest I think. Watching the lads this year, we’ve struggled with injuries and we’ve just not been performing to our best. It’s been tough to watch knowing I can’t do anything to help out.
Good to return this week? And in the reserves too!
I’d have been happy to play for the First Team but I think it’s for the best for me and the team that I play in this game. Obviously I’m not going to be match fit, I’ve not played for 12 months so there’s going to be times when I’m blowing so it’s a good chance to build my match fitness. It’s unlimited substitutions so it should work out well for me I think.
With how the season has played out you coming back is only going to add to the competition for places too?
Yeah you’ve always got someone coming up behind you and I think that’s good for everybody. When I came through there were people in front of me and I think it helped me a lot. The competition really does keep you on your toes and makes you a better player.
Dom Manfredi will feature for Wigan Reserves when they take on St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday, 2:30pm kick-off.