Phil Davis will make a sensational comeback to football this weekend, 12 weeks after almost losing a kidney.
The Greater Western Sydney captain was given the all clear by specialists on Wednesday and will play in the reserves on Saturday. Davis had been hoping to return this season, though few expected it to come so early in the year.
The defender came close to losing his kidney after a seemingly innocuous hit from Sydney's Craig Bird in round one resulted in two lots of surgery and eight days in intensive care.
"I had a CT scan on Monday and it came back that it had fully healed, I've lost a bit of function but apart from that it's in as good a shape as before," Davis said on the Giants' website.
"I've been very fortunate in my recovery, everything's gone really well for me, my power of healing has been pretty good. [I'm] very happy and very excited, I'm looking forward to having a run around on Saturday and getting back into it."
Davis, who will wear a guard to protect his kidney, has been training for six weeks and joined in full training on Tuesday.
"I'm feeling in pretty good nick but you're never in match nick, l'll probably be puffing and panting a bit on Saturday," Davis said.
Davis' return to competitive action is a morale booster for the Giants, who are aiming to snap a seven-game losing streak this week when they tackle Essendon.
After two drubbings in excess of 100 points, the Giants turned in a far better showing last week, losing by seven points against reigning premiers Hawthorn.
The Giants have made two changes to their side, naming young ruckman Rory Lobb for his senior debut and welcoming back Stephen Coniglio from injury.
Lobb, a former star junior basketballer, was secured with pick 29 in last year's draft and will share ruck duties with Shane Mumford.
The Giants have lost All Australian forward Jeremy Cameron to suspension and dropped Dylan Addison.