SYDNEY Roosters front-rower Martin Kennedy knows he is a lucky man heading into the 2012 National Rugby League season.
The 22-year-old, who was born in Lismore, suffered a rare foot injury against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 8 and was sidelined for the rest of the 2011 season.
"It was a really bad break and the nature of the injury was career-threatening," Kennedy told The Northern Star yesterday.
"It was a stress fracture of a small bone in my foot and if it breaks again it can be irreparable.
"There's no set time period for it to heal, but at the moment I'm looking at the first round."
Kennedy was at St John's College Woodlawn yesterday as part of the Lismore Diocese enrichment camp.
The program runs every two years and is aimed at kids from Years 6 to 8 who have shown promise across a range of sports.
Kennedy was joined by Commonwealth Games sprinter Jacob Groth and triathlete Courtney Gilfillan.
"It's been a great camp and I put my hand up to be involved in these sorts of things," Kennedy said.
"I think I get as much out of it as the kids."
Kennedy, a former St Carthage's Primary School student who finished high school at Ipswich Grammar, was earmarked to play for Queensland in State of Origin before injury ruled him out.
"Origin has never been my goal," Kennedy said.
"I just wanted to play good footy at the Roosters and hold down a starting position.
"It's a bit of a different dynamic at the club this pre-season - we only have three blokes over 25 and the average age in the team is 23.
"We don't have a leadership group or anything like that, so if Smithy (coach Brian Smith) wants me to take on extra responsibilities I'm happy to."
Kennedy is contracted to the Roosters until the end of 2014.