Chris Vidler had to go to another competition to rediscover his love for rugby league - and now, at age 33, he wants to relive his lauded Group 4 halcyon days.
After a bung shoulder restricted the destructive front-rower's anticipated Group 4 return to an eye-catching cameo off the bench in the Roosters' round-six demolition of Gunnedah last season, Vidler is back at Kooty.
With the shoulder feeling good and the Roosters deep into a gruelling preseason under their coach, renowned taskmaster Geoff Sharpe, the Chris Vidler experience shapes as one of the most enticing elements of 2019.
Vidler, a multiple premiership winner at West Tamworth, said he joined the Aberdeen Tigers in 2017 after a protracted battle to be released from the Robins. He was sin-binned in his one appearance for the club that year.
He said his over-aggression in that match was due to his anger over not being allowed to join Aberdeen, whom he would go on to win the 2017 premiership with, before being named the side's best and fairest player, and players' player of the year, that season.
Vidler "challenged" himself by going to Group 21, a stronger competition than Group 4, and "I accepted the challenge and it brought the best out in me, and I'm ready to do it again."
"It was awesome," he added, referring to his time at Aberdeen. "And not many players can say they've won premierships in two different groups."
Now, after a year on the sidelines and his prime farther behind him, he wants to see if he can once again dominate the middle. The competition had "a lot of exciting players coming through", he said.
He feels fit enough to dominate. Extensive acupuncture means he now has full shoulder rotation, and, as already mentioned, he has dived head first into off-season training.
Regarding the shoulder, he "put it to the test" in a recent trial match, and will do that again when the Roosters play Werris Creek in a trial at Kootingal on Saturday.
"It's probably one of the hardest preseasons I've had ... I don't know if that's an age thing, or, um, just trying to get back into it, I suppose," he said.
When Vidler chased down Bulldogs fullback Dylan Lake and flung him into touch, just before the tryline, in that round-six clash last year, he displayed an arresting athleticism that made a mockery of the expected outcome of a veteran prop pursuing a renowned speedster.
That is why his pending return to Group 4 is so exciting.