For Jack Trengove, a season-ending foot injury seems to have brought more relief than devastation.
The 22-year-old former Melbourne captain had been managing the injury for 15 months, struggling to capture his best form.
Having been dropped to the VFL, Trengove reported an increasing restriction of movement and sought a full medical assessment.
Those scans showed a navicular fracture; requiring surgery and a 16-week lay-off.
Trengove said the injury assessment was bittersweet.
“When you get a phone call to say there’s a crack in there it’s shattering,” he said.
“There was an element of relief there because I’ve been battling away… thinking why can’t I move the way I’ve moved in the past?
“It was doing my head in.”
Trengove said he hoped his rehabilitation would bring back the freshness of his debut season.
“I’d love to be able to get back to the footy that I was playing back in the first year, free of any burden and just enjoying myself.”
“Hopefully when I get back fit and healthy I can contribute like that.”
The injury is another tough blow for the Demons, who are probably the team least equipped to handle long injury lists.
But as Trengove’s season ends, Chris Dawes’ year has just begun.
The key forward played his first game of the season in the win over Carlton, and is hopeful of making this stay in the side a more permanent one.
In his second season at Melbourne, Dawes impressed on the lead and kicked two important goals while boasting modest stats.
Showing his tactical understanding, Dawes said his presence allows Melbourne to execute their game plan.
“It gave us a reference point for our forward line to base themselves on,” Dawes said.
He said the Lynden Dunn and James Frawley, given forward line berths by Roos after lengthy spells in defence, “looked like star forwards”.
“They’re calling me decoy Dawes which I’m not sure I’m thrilled about,” he laughed.
“A win can set up our season and be a line in the sand… but it can be a win among losses if we let it be.”
“Rather than thinking about what this win is worth, we’ve just got to learn from it and keep winning.”
Dawes called the injury to Trengove shattering but his positivity was uplifting.
“He’s determined he’ll work through it and will come back better and refreshed which speaks volumes for his character.”
Trengove said one positive was the potential to travel to Glasgow to see his sister, marathon runner Jess, compete in the Commonwealth Games.