It was only a month ago that Griffith ruckman Nathan Richards thought his season was over.
Sidelined for eight weeks with a foot injury, Richards had all but resigned himself to the fact that he had played his final game of the year.
"I thought my season was done," Richards said.
"They thought I had stress fractures in both feet but there wasn't a fracture there but the signs were there that it was coming on.
"I had eight weeks off and I was still sore. They said there was nothing they could really do from a doctor's point of view, it's just what you can play through.
"I got sick of being on the sidelines watching the boys so I started training again."
Richards made his return two weeks out from finals. It is no coincidence that his return coincided with the Swans' charge towards a second consecutive grand final appearance.
Griffith has won four straight games since Richards returned, beating top five teams Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Wagga Tigers twice and then Coolamon to win through to Saturday's Riverina League decider.
The 20-year-old Griffith junior has loved his first season back at the Swans, injury aside.
"It's been really good actually," he said.
"It's a little bit different type of footy than what I've been playing for the last few years but it's been good."
Richards won an under 17 premiership at Griffith and then moved to Sydney for a year after accepting an invitation to spend his under 18 season at the Giants.
He trained full-time with the AFL club and played NEAFL, when free of under 18 representative commitments, but suffered a foot injury late in the year and was overlooked in the draft.
Richards spent last season with NEAFL club Canberra Demons, where he played 18 games and helped them to a preliminary final appearance.
It was only then that personal reasons drew him home to Griffith to be close to family.
Richards was there on grand final day last year and would love nothing more than to help break the club's 16-year premiership drought.
"Obviously last year with the heartbreak we had of going so close after such a massive season. I thought it was our year but we obviously just fell short," he said.
"This year we probably haven't been as good through the regular season but we're hitting really good form at the back end.
"As much as I didn't play last year, I was there on the bench and that really spurred me on, and everyone, to get back there and finish the job off."
He cannot wait for Saturday's grand final to come around.
"It's my first senior grand final so I'm very excited," he said.
"It should be a massive game for us."
Richards knows the Swans are capable of getting the job done again against Wagga Tigers.
"I feel as though if we play our best footy then we're more than capable of winning," he said.