DRAGONS youngster Drew Hutchison will end a long, frustrating stint on the sidelines when he returns for Illawarra next weekend.
The Albion Park-Oak Flats junior was locked in to fill the Benji Marshall void at halfback this season before pre-Christmas ACL tear stopped him in his tracks.
Surgery was expected to rule him out for the season but club performance boss Nathan Pickworth confirmed on Thursday that his return is imminent, welcome news for coach Paul McGregor.
“That’s a real positive for Drew because of the work he’s put in to get back for the back-end of the year, and it also gives us a bit more depth around the halves,” McGregor said.
“He’s done a lot of work, he’s in good shape and he’s had no complications with his knee along the way, so it’ll be nice to see him out there playing again.
“As far as I know he’d like to stay at the club and we’d like him to stay at the club so, at the moment, it’s about getting out there, playing some footy and having confidence in himself after such a serious injury.