SECOND row Dan Smith has made a sentimental return to Doncaster Knights just 18 months after being told he may never play rugby again.
Former Bath Academy product Smith (pictured) was forced to leave the Knights following an injury plagued 2009/10 season at Castle Park.
The 27-year-old sat out last season after undergoing spinal surgery but has since battled his way back to fitness at National League One side Barking.
He returned to his home in Lincoln during his year of rehabilitation - working as a waiter at an Italian restaurant - and was pinching himself when he sealed a move back to Castle Park shortly before we went to press.
Smith said: “My body was a mess – there were no guarantees I’d ever return to action and I had a lot of rehab.
“I was relying on a team of experts to fix me and I owe a lot to them.
“It’s surreal coming back to Doncaster after such a tough period of my life because I was so happy when I was at Knights before.
“But Brett always kept the door open for me and for that I will be extremely grateful.
“I’m really excited for the first game, I need to get my head down and work hard to win selection,” added Smith.
“It’ll be a special moment when I first pull the shirt on again, the last year was the toughest of my life and it taught me a lot.
“As a team we are targeting the next four games and the talent is there.
“The new players I’ve met have been really impressive, there seems like a lot is going on with the rugby and behind the scenes – it’s great to see a buzz at Castle Park again.”
Knights host Esher on Saturday (2.30pm).