Cape Town - It has been some year for Robert du Preez.
Handed the No 10 jersey by coach Robbie Fleck at the start of the Super Rugby season, Du Preez went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows when he was injured in week two of the competition against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
That knee injury would ruin his Super Rugby season, and Du Preez would not play again until the tournament quarter-finals when the Stormers were knocked out by the Chiefs (21-60) in Cape Town.
To make matters worse, Du Preez was then left out in the cold somewhat as the Currie Cup season kicked off, with Western Province coach John Dobson favouring Brandon Thomson in the No 10 jersey.
But Thomson struggled and now Dobson has gone back to the 23-year-old Du Preez.
"It's never nice being, let's say 'dropped'," said Du Preez.
"When I came back I wanted to take that opportunity and just stay there. I want to do everything in my power to keep that from happening again, because it's not the best feeling in the world.
"I think I'm slowly getting back into the space I was in at the beginning of the year. It wasn't easy playing those first two games and building on some momentum and then that injury came."
Du Preez was simply sublime against the Sharks two weekends ago as his man-of-the-match performance helped WP to a 34-27 win at Newlands.
But, this past weekend, Province came unstuck in Johannesburg against the Golden Lions as they leaked eight tries to go down 58-32.
It has left Dobson and his charges scrambling in the competition, and they are now targeting three bonus point wins from their last three fixtures to make a push for the semi-finals.
"We're staying positive, although our backs are to the wall," said Du Preez.
"We were hurt after the weekend, obviously, and we came here yesterday with the mindset to fix it.
"If anyone saw our training yesterday ... the boys were up for it. It was one of the better training sessions of the year. It's positive."
WP host the Pumas this Saturday.
Kick-off is at 17:10.