Pictures: Hull KR's first day back at training
NO pain, no gain seemed to be the perfect mantra for Kris Welham on his return to training with Hull KR.
Whilst most players dread the first day of pre-season, Welham could not be happier to be back.
Having broken his leg in the 13-10 loss against Catalans in June, the 25-year-old centre could not hide his delight as he returned to full training.
And not even a bit of soreness in the ankle below the break could dampen his spirits at the end of a testing first session.
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"It's the best feeling ever to be back involved," Welham told the Mail.
"It's been such a long time since I have been out on the pitch with the rest of the boys doing anything.
"It was a tough session and I'm looking forward to the rest of pre-season.
"I did a little bit of training on my own before coming back but it's easy to stop when you're on your own.
"Yesterday was what I needed to help get me back to full fitness.
"I got a little ache towards the end, but that's to be expected because there are a few muscles down there that haven't been worked for a while.
"I'm sure there will be a concern or two and I'll be thinking of it. But I know there is nothing to worry about.
"It will get better with more time."
After seeing his 2012 season cut short, just as he had become the club's leading try scorer, the home-grown centre can't wait to get over the whitewash again.
Dave Hodgson eventually pipped him to the top scorer accolade, but scoring tries is not a big concern for Welham right now, unlike getting through pre-season.
"There is nothing to worry about physically, it's just in my head," said Welham, who has six pins and a plate in his leg.
"It's stronger than a normal person's ankle as it's got a bit of steel in there. The plate and pins are there for life.
"They even set off the airport security alarm when I went to Tenerife.
"Seriously though, as soon as I get that first tackle out of the way, my worries will be gone."
Missing through injury for the final three months of the season, Welham's tries were sorely missed as Rovers failed to make the play-offs for the first time in four years.
Although the Robins' first friendly is still more than eight weeks away, he admits it cannot come soon enough.
"I can't wait for that first pre-season game," said Welham, who is now the club's longest serving player following Jason Netherton's release last week.
"Luckily I still have a couple of months of training to go before.
"I did a lot of rehab on my ankle to strengthen it up and I'm ready for full contact training now.
"But I think we'll have a lot of running to do before we start on the contact side of things."