POPULAR former Saints packman Sia Soliola has explained how he tried to blend KFC and Big Macs when recovering from the horrific facial injury that stopped him from being able to eat solid food.

The Canberra Raiders forward is now on the verge of a return to NRL action after recovering from surgery that required the insertion of 20 screws following the head clash with St George prop Blake Lawrie on 3 July.

It shows the toughness of the 34-year-old, who was a 2014 Grand Final winner and try-scorer with Saints, as the horror injury was expected to finish his season.

Speaking to NRL.com, Soliola explained some of the measures he had to take due to his inability to bite solid food.

 "I actually tried to blend KFC," he said.

St Helens Star:

"It was all soft foods so everything had to be blended. I actually had the idea to blend KFC, pizza, a Big Mac or pretty much anything.

"I couldn't bite, for obvious reasons.

"The first thing I got when I could eat again was a Domino's pizza and then I had a Vietnamese pork Banh Mi. That was good."

Soliola is now on the verge of a return for Canberra Raiders in the business end of the season.

Signed as a centre, Soliola enjoyed a fine five-year stint at Saints from 2010, signing off with a ring at Old Trafford.

And he will have plenty of support and well-wishers when he does return.

Apart from being a tough player, he is also a fantastic ambassador for the sport and has thrown himself into a number of charities and activities.

He works each Monday, even after a game the day before, in the Early Morning Centre’s Soup Kitchen and supporting homeless people.

From his time at Saints he became ambassador for children with Angelman’s Syndrome.

He has also worked with groups that support disadvantaged children and another that supports at-risk young men.