Titanic year ahead for speedster after back surgery

HE would love to play fullback and would love to take over the captaincy reins, but most of all Gold Coast utility William Zillman wants to have a consistent full season after back issues cut deep into 2015.

Plagued by a bulging disc which severely restricted his playing time last season, Zillman has undergone back surgery and feels he is now ready to return to the form that had people talking about his speed and exceptional footwork and skill.

Advancing on 30, he begins a new chapter with the Titans next season, excited by the talent the club has recruited and the prospect of taking on a leadership role following the departure of Nate Myles.

Two weeks after returning to running, Zillman can feel the gears slipping smoothly, the pain of a back injury that strangled his speed gone, and a new desire burning to help the Titans rebuild after a few disappointing seasons.

"I had a small (surgical) procedure done at the end of the season and two-and-a-half-months post-op. It's feeling a lot better," he said.

Zillman's back pain was so severe he couldn't even warm up for games.

"I hadn't had any procedures done for the last few years and the way the back works, it can affect quite a few other things," he said.

With no rest, the bulging disc was putting more and more pressure on his sciatic nerve.

"In the surgery, they trimmed it, releasing the pressure on those nerves. I think it's called a diskectomy. It was very frustrating. I kept thinking I was a week or two away from playing again and then I would go backwards a hell of a lot."

Zillman is not certain where he will play with Josh Hoffman having a hold on fullback and the club likely to run young Kane Elgey and ex-Knight Tyron Roberts in the halves. "While I love playing fullback I grew up playing in the half and played in the centres," he said.

Topics:  rugby league titans

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