The actor reprises his role as the time-traveling Hiro Nakamura on the superhero drama

Updated October 29, 2015 02:00 PM
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Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

Masi Oka is ready to be heroic once again.

The star is in the midst of a three-episode arc on Heroes Reborn, and though he’s excited to reprise his role as the time-traveling Hiro Nakamura, getting back into the action has been a challenge.

The actor, 40, is currently starring on Hawaii Five-0 but finds Heroes is more physically demanding, particularly picking up the role he first played in 2006 “a few pounds and a couple of years” later.

“Getting back into the action took a little bit of time,” he tells PEOPLE. “This time I’m more of a ninja than a samurai because I’m wielding two swords rather than one long sword.”

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On set, he suffered an injury while shooting a particularly challenging action scene.

“In one of the action sequences, the other guy kicked me in the face and made contact. That was a scary moment for everybody,” Oka says. “I was bleeding and just trying to push through this take, but I heard a collective gasp from the executive producers: ‘Oh no!’ ”

Luckily no hospital visit was necessary and he kept going.

In last week’s episode, Hiro was finally freed after being imprisoned inside a video game. At the end of the hour, he and Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) traveled back in time in an attempt to stop a terror attack from ever happening.

“You will see Hiro reunite with some of his old buddies, the original cast,” Oka says of Thursday’s episode. “It was a mini-reunion, and shooting with them was so comfortable. It was great.”

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Heroes Reborn

airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.