If Jay Foon couldn't return from a broken neck as early as he'd have liked, he's returned as well as he could have hoped.
The classy North Launceston defender fell narrowly short of recovering to play in a third premiership last year after being seriously injured in the Bombers' round 17 win over Glenorchy.
But little more than six months later, the 23-year-old electrician has returned to the field to star in both his side's wins to date, and even kicked a goal to suitably celebrate his comeback in round one at Kingborough.
"It was good to get back out there with the boys and get amongst it again after missing a bit of footy last year," Foon said following the round two win over Clarence.
"I managed to do a whole pre-season for probably the first time in three or four years so the body's feeling good and it's been enjoyable.
"It's a good group and I've settled into the back six pretty well - we've got a few experienced heads out there who all look after each other."
With nine of last year's premiership side departing in the off-season, North coach Taylor Whitford has had spend some time restructuring the magnetboard - particularly in the front half of the ground.
The midfield core of Whitford, Brad Cox-Goodyer and Josh Ponting has remained intact, with Michael Tang's departure the main change to a back six led by Foon, Arion Richter-Salter and Jack Avent.
"It is pretty settled back there," Foon said.
"We've obviously brought in Doss [Braden van Buuren] from Devonport, but other than that it's just been a couple of young fellas coming up through the colts and blooding guys that have played a lot of footy at this club, so it's been good."
And will the reigning premiers go deep into finals once more?
"I don't see why not - we should.
"We've had a lot of list changes but we've still got the main core there and we've got a pretty good culture at the footy club so that should hold us in good stead."