CALLAN Ward has moved on from missing the Giants' maiden Grand Final last year, with the former co-captain set for an immediate impact upon his return this week.
The midfielder will play for Greater Western Sydney on Sunday against North Melbourne in his first game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in round four last year.
But that injury came in the opening 10 minutes of that clash against Geelong and was his first appearance in 2019, making Ward feel like he hasn't played since the end of 2018.
The original Giants midfielder, who claimed the club's first best and fairest award in 2012, said the club had gotten over its 2019 Grand Final loss to Richmond and was ready to attack the restarted season.
"I don't want to speak about last year too much because it's a whole different season now, it's round two now. Things change," he said on Thursday.
"We're really confident in the football that we play that it's up there with the best and now that I can play a part in that as a player is good."
Ward would have been close to selection in the early rounds of the season if not for the COVID-19 interruption.
However the 30-year-old used the time on the sidelines to strengthen his knee and after starring during match practice last week had won a call-up into the Giants' line-up.
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Ward admitted there were times during the season's suspension he questioned if he'd get to make his return in 2020.
"It crosses your mind a little bit but you can't control what you can't control so I didn't think too much about it," he said.
"If anything I was really positive about it and thought I had a few more months to get my knee perfect. At that stage I thought I was ready to play but now three or four months later my knee's even better, so I feel even more ready to go now."
Ward's fellow former co-captain Phil Davis (the pair handed the captaincy to Stephen Coniglio ahead of this year) said the premiership-contending Giants would be boosted by Ward's inclusion.
Davis likened Ward to recent Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee and current Giants assistant Lenny Hayes.
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"It's a pretty incredible package that he's got. Not many players are as skilful or as tough as he. Everyone was talking about Lenny Hayes the other week and he's about as close as I've seen to Lenny Hayes, and that's a fairly good compliment to give anyone," said Davis, who will play his 150th game for the Giants this weekend.
"A fully fit Cal Ward puts us almost another peg higher because of the calibre of the person he is and his ability to make others better."