NUMBER eight Cornell du Preez insisted he had no hesitation in smashing forward for Worcester Warriors as he consigns his horror injury ordeal to the past.

Seven months after damaging his throat on the opening day of the season du Preez was back on the field and stressed it felt “very normal” to be crashing into opponents again.

The 28-year-old underwent surgery to fix his fractured larynx and spent four of his six weeks in hospital unable to speak.

But du Preez recovered to pull on the Warriors jersey again and made his comeback in Saturday’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final loss to Harlequins at Sixways.

“I was pretty relaxed,” du Preez said.

“It was very normal being back out there so there were no emotions from my side.

“It was obviously great to be back but the focus was on winning and that’s the only thing I can think about now to be honest.”

Du Preez replaced Sam Lewis on 54 minutes and was immediately in the thick of the action with a big hit by Quins tighthead prop Josh Ibuanokpe.

“It was alright,” said du Preez on the collision.

“It put me straight back into the game so I probably needed that to get going again.

“I have done so much contact in training you get used to it and it’s pretty normal.”

Asked whether there was any reluctance to put his body on the line, du Preez replied: “No, not at all.

“I have put that all past me now. I have recovered well and I am not actually thinking about (my throat) at all to be honest.”

Du Preez was unable to help guide his side to victory though as a late penalty from Demetre Catrakilis saw Warriors exit the competition.

“It was very disappointing,” du Preez said.

“I felt we dominated the most part of the game so we just need to learn how to convert that pressure into points. We will look at it this week and see how we can get better.

“We wanted to go further in this competition if we could but it’s past us now so we will have a big focus to finish the season very strongly.”

Warriors are three points above the relegation zone going into the final five matches of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.

The Sixways side visit Wasps on Saturday (3pm) and du Preez is eager to play his part in the remaining games.

“The boys have had a long season and their bodies are sore so it is about managing them now,” du Preez said.

“If I can contribute in any way I am very happy to do that.

“We do very well at dominating teams physically and physicality is one of my attributes that I can bring if selected.”

Du Preez’s last appearance in the Premiership came against Wasps at Sixways on September 1.

“It’ll just be another game for me,” du Preez added.

“It’s all about our performance and what we can do to win.

“Every game is massive for us so we will look at all the videos and will concentrate on Wasps.”