Wangaratta premiership player Daniel Sharrock has revealed he had four operations on his troublesome right knee.
Quite remarkably, Sharrock still finished runner-up in the club's best and fairest to Joe Richards two years ago, despite not playing a match after round 11.
A classy forward who can also play in the midfield, Sharrock joined VFL club Williamstown in January last year, but couldn't break into the senior side due to the injury.
"The rehabilitation went perfectly and I got back (in 2019) a little bit earlier than I thought," he said.
"But I copped a big knock against Lavington and then it got kicked the following week and it just blew up ridiculously.
"I missed a month leading into the finals, but got back for the second semi and then played the grand final and after that I was hoping it would improve, but nothing changed.
"There was still a lump in it, so I had that cut out but in the surgery it got infected just before Christmas last year and I had to go back on January 2 this year to have another op to clean it up.
"I ended up spending five days in hospital."
Sharrock, who turns 22 in November, is uncertain where he will play next year, given the uncertainty surrounding the game in general and what format the VFL might take.
"It sucked not playing footy this year, but it's given me a chance to get my knee right and get ready for next year," he said.
Unfortunately due to the injury, Sharrock wasn't the same player prior to the complaint, where he had established himself as one of the finest emerging talents.
His strong hands enabled him to take marks many others couldn't and in his final four completed games before the injury, he had featured in the club's best.
That was the first time he had done that since a four-match streak to start 2017.
Sharrock says his reconstructed right knee is fine now, but it will be only natural after four operations to feel some nerves.
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While Wangaratta would love to see Sharrock 'hit the ground running' if he does stay with the VFL, the club would also like to see him again in the Pies' colours as they chase a fourth successive grand final appearance with the bulk of those squads.
Motivation certainly won't be a factor as the Pies have lost the past two grand finals, replicating Lavington's losses to Albury in 2015-16.