A lot has happened at NRL club Brisbane while Matt Gillett has been sidelined.
But the Broncos back-rower is confident it will be business as usual with Wayne Bennett still at the helm when he makes his long awaited 2019 comeback from injury.
Out of action since April, the Test second-rower took a step towards an NRL round one return from a neck fracture and shoulder reconstruction when he began pre-season training.
The Queensland forward's frustrating stint on the injury list coincided with one of the Broncos' most tumultuous chapters.
Bennett had a very public falling out with the Broncos board as they butted heads over his future before signing with South Sydney from 2020.
Rabbitohs mentor Anthony Seibold agreed to move to Brisbane the same year, prompting speculation a switch could be brought forward to next season if all parties agreed.
While Bennett is currently away for England's Test series with New Zealand, Gillett expected the 68-year-old to return for his 26th and final season as Broncos coach in 2019.
"Wayne has reassured us he will be here next year. But it is important as a playing group that we stay tight no matter who is coaching at the top," Gillett said.
"It will be sad to see Wayne go. He has made the club what it is today.
"But this stuff happens a lot in the footy world. We have to get on with life.
"You obviously want that sorted out as soon as you can but if we have a strong playing group that will take care of itself."
Gillett, 30, hurt his neck in this year's season opener but medical staff didn't discover the break until after Brisbane's round five clash with Newcastle.
He opted for surgery on an ongoing shoulder issue while sidelined.
Gillett needs a final scan to be cleared of the neck fracture but says his pre-season priority is getting his shoulder right after undergoing a reconstruction in August.
He will start contact work with his recovering shoulder after Christmas.
"I will be right for the season opener. I just need the final tick with the final (neck) scan but it was healed by the end of the season. I just need to get my shoulder right," said Gillett.
"(The neck injury) was scary, having kids and family and a life after footy to think about.
"There were bad thoughts but I did get to spend a lot of time with my family this year.
"Hopefully a year off can extend my career a few years."
Gillett is finally looking forward to the future after re-signing with Brisbane for another four years while sidelined.
© AAP 2018