[icWales] NEIL Boobyer is hoping tonight's clash with Caerphilly will spark a rise in fortunes for both himself and Pontypridd.
It has been a testimonial year to forget so far for the Llanelli centre who has arrived at Sardis Road to plaster over Ponty's midfield injury crisis.
But Boobyer, 30, has had fitness problems of his own to contend with during what should be a milestone in his long career.
The seven-times capped former Wales international has yet to play a competitive game this season amid back-to-back injuries following his pre-season testimonial against Leeds.
And now he is desperate to get his campaign back on track with an appearance off the bench for Pontypridd this evening.
"All I want to do is get out there and start playing rugby again," said Boobyer.
"More than anything else I think I need to prove to myself that I am still capable of playing at the top level.
"I haven't played all season but I've been working hard on my fitness and now I'm busting a gut to play."
A stress fracture in his foot was followed by a twisted knee in training and the blistering form of Mathew Watkins and Leigh Davies have all conspired to reduce Boobyer to a spectator at Stradey Park.
"The season started so well with my testimonial game but since then it has been terrible," he admitted.
"Matthew and Leigh have been playing so well that I haven't been able to get into the starting team, so as soon as Ponty got in touch and asked me to help out I took the opportunity with both hands.
"I was a little apprehensive about going to a new club having spent 11 years at Llanelli, it was a step into the unknown.
"But they say a change is as good as a rest and everyone has been great to me at the club.
"The one thing about Ponty is the amazing spirit that they have between the players. They really work hard for each other and for the coach and play such a big part in the local community."
A Boobyer midfield showdown could materialise with twin brother Roddy on the Caerphilly bench after being out with an eye injury.
"We were a little bit worried because the injury to his eye was looking a bit serious," said Neil.
"He had blurred vision and apparently there was a lot of blood, but thankfully the doctor said it was not serious. It's a shame he isn't playing though."
Pontypridd, meanwhile, have called up under-21 prop Geraint Morris to the bench with Duncan Bell due to undergo surgery on his shoulder today - the Sardis side's fifth long-term injury.
"We enjoyed a long spell without any injuries and now they all seem to be hitting us at once," said coach Lynn Howells. "It will be a real test for the rest of the players to get by without them."