QUEANBEYAN Tigers defender Josh Bryce says he has 100 per cent confidence in his rebuilt knee heading into his side's NEAFL campaign which gets underway next month.
Bryce had his first full hit out in more than a year in Queanbeyan's 33-point trial victory over the Albury Tigers last Saturday.
The 23-year-old was forced to sit out the entire 2013 season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during pre-season training.
It was the second time in three years Bryce was reduced to a prolonged stint on the sidelines after suffering the same injury in his opposite knee in 2010.
But after opting to have a traditional knee reconstruction rather than the speedier but potentially riskier LARS surgery, Bryce said he harboured no fears that his body was up to the task of a NEAFL campaign.
"I haven't even thought about the knee for a long time," Bryce told the Queanbeyan Age at training earlier this week.
"I've been confident on it for the past three or four months now and I've been doing full contact training during the pre-season so I wasn't really worried about it at all going into the game.
"It's been a long time to have to sit out, especially last year having to sit there and watch the boys get thumped a couple of times and not being able to do a lot. That was probably the hardest thing.
"But hopefully that extra time I've taken will hold me in good stead and bring me back in better shape than I otherwise would have been."
Bryce's comeback hit a slight hurdle against the Tigers with the key defender picking up a minor hamstring tear.
But he said the twinge would not be enough to keep him out of Queanbeyan's first game of the season against Sydney Uni at Dairy Farmers Park on April 5.