JASON GOLDEN has spoken of his injury heartache - but insists he is determined to remain part of "exciting times at York City Knights".
Fears over the popular second-row's playing future grew after he exited the Knights' narrow Challenge Cup defeat at Swinton after just ten minutes due to ongoing shoulder problems, most latterly a recurring dislocation.
Head coach Gary Thornton has already ruled the 28-year-old out of the games against Oxford tomorrow and at Gateshead on Good Friday, admitting he had "major concerns - more for the player than anything else".
But Golden himself is remaining positive this latest setback is not serious and that he can bounce back yet again. He even joked that if Mel Gibson character Martin Riggs can overcome shoulder dislocations so readily in the Lethal Weapon films, then so can he.
"I was absolutely gutted after the Swinton game. It was probably the worst I've felt watching on the sidelines and not being able to help the boys," said Golden.
"I thought, 'Crikey, is this going to be it?' But after I saw the physios, it's not that bad. We have only two games in the next four weeks so, while I'll miss them, it gives me a period of time to get the shoulder as strong as possible. I'm also hoping to see a specialist about what extra treatment I can have to get it stronger.
"As long as I have a goal, a target that I need to achieve, then it's okay.
"I've been enjoying it so much this year - it's the most I've enjoyed playing rugby for years - and I want to play as long as I can. I'm only 28. York have some exciting times ahead, with the new stadium coming up and the group of people they've got at the club, and I want to be a part of it.
"There's a great group of boys here, with a lot of talented young players who are getting better and better.
"The way the leagues are being restructured and with promotions possible it offers an opportunity to get York to a place they deserve to be - and I want to be a big part of that."
It was the second time in three outings in which Golden had suffered a temporary shoulder dislocation, just a few games into making his comeback from almost 12 months out due to a reconstruction of the joint. He had also undergone similar complicated surgery while at both Wakefield and London Broncos.
He actually played on for a few minutes against Swinton - affecting several tackles in agony - before being persuaded to leave the action. He also put the strapping back on, insisting he would return to the fray if a team-mate got injured.
"It hurt and it was sore, but the worse thing was realising what had happened and panicking, thinking, 'Where do I go from here?'.
"You go into an operation and you kind of expect everything to be okay afterwards but then you start having difficulties with it and think, 'This is meant to have been fixed - is this the end of the line?'
"But I think that's just worry, and I care so much about the team that it makes it worse. It really does matter to me.
"The good thing is we've put a plan together now and as long as I know what is expected of me to get back playing, that's fine. I understand you have to have a life after rugby league but I want to be playing for as long as I can."
He added: "There's obviously a problem in the shoulder but it was nothing like what happened last year. There are a lot of players who suffer something similar. They pop the shoulder back in and go back on. If Mel Gibson can do it, then we can do it."