MICHAEL Gordon wasted little time in the imaginary world in which his No. 1 wish was granted.
Having spent the 2012 pre-season striving to start at fullback, Gordon was instead playing on the wing in round one when his long-awaited comeback from a season-ending injury in 2011 was brought to an abrupt halt.
He'd been on the field no more than 25 minutes when he broke his leg.
Gordon returned to the Panthers line-up last weekend as fullback.
He said he hadn't pondered how his season would have panned out if he was named in the spot 21 rounds ago.
"No, you can't think like that," Gordon said.
"At the time when it happened I thought, would it have been different, but you can't predict stuff like that.
"It was purely bad luck, a wrong-place thing.
"There was not much I could do and no point dwelling on it."
Instead of chasing a ball, an Origin jumper or a premiership, Gordon has spent the past five months pursuing the ability to run.
"I had a plan in place with physio and rehab but it just wasn't going to plan," Gordon said.
"It was just so painful trying to run and so hard trying to push through as best I could, getting injections to try and settle it down . . . it was just a tough road back."
Though he said he's "not even close" to being 100 per cent, Gordon was "desperate and dying" to come back and said he had no fear of suffering another injury during his return on Saturday night.
"I've had enough family and friends saying be careful, watch out," Gordon said. "I was getting a bit sick of it.
"The first run is usually a good indicator and when I got tackled, someone dived into my leg, but when I got up everything was fine.
"I wasn't expecting to be a game-breaker in game one. It's been a tough old year sitting on the sidelines so I was just happy to be a part of the team."