Lucas Mellier was resigned to the fact he had probably played his last match.
The classy midfielder's career was at the crossroads after he copped a heavy bump against Mitta United almost a fortnight ago.
Mellier hyper-extended his knee in the incident and initially thought he may have torn his ACL.
Scans revealed he had fractured his shin just below the knee and torn his meniscus.
"I went to the doctor and he said he was going to pin the knee where the fracture was," Mellier said.
"I also required surgery on my meniscus.
"The doctor told me before the surgery that the best outcome would be to get me to a point where I could walk without any discomfort.
"But you probably won't be able to run or play sport.
"That shattered me when I heard that."
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Mellier arrived for surgery, hoping for the best and expecting the worst.
"I went in for the surgery and then when I was in recovery I realised I had only been in surgery for an hour and I I thought to myself 'geez I've been in surgery for an hour, what did they do?,' he said.
"When they went to operate, it wasn't as bad as they thought and I didn't require surgery to repair my meniscus.
"The ligaments on either side of my knee were buggered but there was still enough to hold my knee together.
"The ACL was a bit damaged but nothing that required surgery.
"They didn't even up pinning the fracture and decided to let it heal naturally.
"So I basically just had a clean out in the end."
The diagnosis has given Mellier hope he can be back playing in late July and be fit enough for a finals campaign.
"I just have to stay off it for six weeks and be on crutches and once the fracture heals have physio to repair all the ligaments after that," he said.
"I still can't believe it.
"Hopefully I can get back about a month before finals, that would be ideal.
"That's the carrot for me but there is a fair bit to do before I can do that but that's my aim."
The 35-year-old said he was keen to stay involved at Thurgoona as much as possible while he recovers.
"I want to be in the coaches box on match-days and be helping out where I can," he said.
Teammate Luke Gerecke also injured his knee on the same day as Mellier and is still waiting on the results of scans to determine the extent of the damage.
Gerecke missed last week's big win over Barnawartha.
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