RaboDirect Pro12: Ospreys' Joe Rees cannot wait for the new season to begin
Ospreys' Joe Rees is targeting an injury-free campaign after he missed most of 2012/13 season following neck surgery.
Last Updated: 29/07/13 12:58pm
The tight-head, who turns 23 next month, had been a regular until he sustained a season-ending injury in the win over Gloucester at the start of November.
Rees tentatively returned to training in the closing weeks of the campaign and he insists that time with the squad had benefitted him ahead of pre-season.
"Touch wood I can stay fully fit and hopefully challenge for a place in the team this season," said Rees. "I'm really enjoying being part of the squad again and looking forward to hopefully having an impact.
"I was lucky enough to be back training fully with the squad over the last three weeks of last season. Although I wasn't ready to play back then it was an important three weeks as I needed to get the all-clear from the medical team.
"Starting back training wasn't too difficult. What I found difficult to cope with was having to watch the boys training and playing week after week, feeling pretty useless and not being able to offer anything to the squad. That's what I struggled with mentally, particularly in the beginning.
"Since we came back for pre-season after the break I've been fully integrated back into things. It seems to be going well so far, I've managed to get a bit more running under my belt and I seem to be holding up."