Hawthorn superstar Shaun Burgoyne has spoken about the knee injury that nearly finished his career in the brown and gold before it had even started.
Speaking to Mark Howard on Hawthorn's Heavy Hitters podcast, Burgoyne explains at length how his career hung in suspense when he went under the knife at the end of the 2009 season.
"It was a tough one," Burgoyne said.
"When you're 26 and had pretty much one injury in your life leading up to then, you think you're bulletproof.
"But then my knee got in a pretty bad way and I was told i needed surgery."
At the same time, Burgoyne was amidst the process of moving from Port Adelaide to Hawthorn but his confidence of a long career in his new colours wasn't helped by the words of his surgeon prior to going under the knife.
"From what I was told from the surgeon, it didn't give me too much hope.
"Just as he was about to put me under, he told me that it was either going to work or it was going to be the end of my career.
"I just though, 'oh sweet, mate, thanks! Now are you going to put me under?'"
"So, that was pretty much the last words he said to me before I went under so I didn't think I had too much longer in me!"
But Burgoyne, who already had a premiership and 157 games for the Power under his belt at that time, said positivity slowly emerged following the operation.
"Obviously, I had the surgery and then I was on crutches for the next 12 weeks
"I couldn't even put my foot on the ground because it would have wrecked the surgery!"
His first experiences with Hawthorn also helped, with the Hawks brains trust at the time easing the mental burden that Burgoyne was undoubtedly carrying.
"The thing about Hawthorn was, when I got there, (Football GM at the time) Mark Evans, Clarko and (Head of Performance at the time) Andrew Russell all said to me that they didn't care if I missed the first 10 weeks of the season, we're going to get you right so you can play more than three years for us and have a good life after footy.
"That was the approach they took from the start, they were in it for the long run."