Sam McKendry injured in first rugby league match since NRL retirement, Penrith Panthers

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Big Sam McKendry didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he made a comeback to rugby league last weekend.

The former Kiwi Test and Penrith prop decided to retire at just 30 two years ago after suffering major knee injuries in consecutive seasons.

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But after some time away from the game, McKendry decided on a comeback with St Mary’s in the Ron Massey Cup – and things didn’t go to plan.

“I was a bit worried about the knee but it felt fine when I got out there,” McKendry, now 32, said.

“But after five minutes I did my hamstring and had to hobble off.

“I’ve never done a hamstring before in my life – I couldn’t believe it – but it’s not too serious.

“I should be back in a couple of weeks and I’ll try climbing the mountain again.”

Now working as a truck driver, McKendry decided to play with his mates at St Mary’s – a local Penrith club – and is determined to see out the year.

“It’s obviously not as intense as grade football but still pretty serious and still a good chance of getting hurt – as I proved last weekend.

“But it was great to be back out there again and I can’t wait for my next run with the boys.”

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