They say a week is a long time in politics but four years away from football felt like an eternity for Lachie Dight.
Since being diagnosed with tendonitis in his knee, the former Albury Tigers player has tried everything to get himself back on the field.
Dight, 26, had surgery and various treatments but remained sidelined and admitted he thought his career was over.
But having joined Jindera last summer, he's turned a corner and is now finally back playing the sport he loves on a regular basis.
He's played 12 games for his new club, including the last seven, as the Bulldogs have moved to the verge of finals qualification in the Hume league.
"Before I started this year, my last game was probably halfway through 2017," Dight said.
"I had surgery, all sorts of injections, couldn't get the knee sorted and just waited it out.
"It took a lot longer than I'd like and I thought I was cooked to be honest.
"After a couple of years, I thought if it hasn't got better now after all the stuff I've tried to fix up with surgeries and what not, I probably won't be better at any point.
"I had a heap of platelet injections, where they spin your blood and put it back in, those pads that you wear on your knee, I tried that and had a heap of rest.
"I pretty much tried everything you could do for it but it got to a point where they said 'you've done everything, try to do as much strengthening stuff as you can and see how you go.'
"Whether it was just the rest or the different strength stuff I was starting to do, it started to come good.
"I've got to a point now where I can train most of the time and play every week.
"It's so good to be back."
Dight crossed to Jindera with his former Albury team-mate Alex Rowe and got off to a dream start as the Bulldogs stunned Rand-Walbundrie-Walla in round one.
They quickly proved themselves as the league's most improved side, coming agonisingly close to a major upset against Holbrook seven days later before going toe-to-toe with Osborne for much of their round three clash.
Andrew Wilson's side came unstuck against Culcairn but managed to win away to Brock-Burrum and on Saturday they snapped a three-match losing streak with victory over Lockhart.
Jindera face Howlong on Saturday, looking to avenge their eight-point loss to the Spiders in round five, and Dight's physical improvements have been matched by his form in the blue and white.
"Lachie's form in the last month has been really good," Wilson said.
"He's come back after not playing footy for four or five years, given the situation with his knee and he's just got to manage that."
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Dight's loving life at the kennel after taking a step into the unknown.
"I had no idea what to expect," he admitted.
"A few mates were out there so I thought why not sign on and give it a go?
"I didn't have any expectations of playing, even most of the games, to be honest. I thought it would be a week-by-week thing, see how it went, but it felt good all pre-season.
"I've had a few little hiccups along the way but for the majority of the year, it's felt pretty good.
"I've absolutely loved it. I missed it, all those years, and the social side as well, getting around all the boys.
"At the start, I was in and out a bit, but I'm starting to get some consistency now and getting a bit of touch back after having so long off."
Jindera sit fifth, ahead of the Giants on percentage and two games clear of CDHBU in seventh, with three rounds remaining.
"I'm pretty confident," Dight said.
"I know everyone's had players unavailable at stages but we've been hit especially hard. It seems to be four or five of our better players missing every week for various reasons.
"For those first couple of weeks, we had pretty much a full-strength side and we were pushing those sides so as we start getting everyone back, I'm pretty confident we can push those sides again.
"When we get everyone together and start knocking a few teams off, confidence will grow and I reckon we can beat those top sides."
In more good news for the Bulldogs, Kris Holman came through another reserves game unscathed on Saturday, kicking seven goals.
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