Gary Redmond is a frustrated man.
The former Christchurch club flanker had been showing some superb form in his new Marist club's No 7 jersey when he suffered a slight rotator cuff tear while playing in the Tasman Trophy final against Nelson. That was almost a month ago and he has been out of action ever since.
He is on the mend though and hopeful of a start in Saturday's Nelson Bays club semifinal against Stoke as Marist looks for one last opportunity to defend last year's championship title.
Although frustrated at being sidelined for Marist's last three outings, Redmond is remaining positive of a quick return to action. "It's getting better," he said. "It's slowly coming right and I might be playing this weekend."
Originally from Methven and a qualified builder, the 23-year-old former Canterbury Colts and Canterbury B representative moved to Nelson this season year to try and crack the Tasman Makos' ITM Cup squad.
"[Tasman selection] was my main goal, and just getting a bit of a break from Christchurch, because I was a builder down there and there's not a lot of work going on down there at the moment."
His impressive efforts off the side of Marist's scrum have attracted plenty of attention from those that matter, leading to his predicted selection among the latest crop of Makos recruits.
He played a pre-season game last year for Canterbury's top side but recognising that, with talented No 7s such as Brendon O'Connor and Matt Todd blocking his path, his most likely avenue for ITM Cup exposure was a move north.
He had played club rugby with Marist team-mate Kieron Fonotia in the Tasman centre's last year in Christchurch, and it was partly through encouragement from his former Christchurch clubmate that he had decided to head to Nelson.
"She's pretty tough competition in Christchurch. There are some pretty handy players around, so it's pretty tough to crack it.
"[Fonotia] said it was all good up here, so I decided to come up."
A third Christchurch team-mate, first five-eighth Jason Merrett, also made the move, although he missed initial selection in the Tasman squad.
Redmond is not a conspicuously big player, although judging by his dynamic club form, characterised by his effective work at the breakdown, he knows how to get the most out of his 1.78m 98kg frame.
He has never been concerned about his size and, until his shoulder injury, had been satisfied with his form this season.
"They haven't really said a lot so far. I'm just trying to get back on the field and keep playing well, I think."