Just over 12 months after rupturing his ACL, Gold Coast draftee Elijah Hollands is still a long way off playing football, but he's in no rush to get back on the park.
The powerful 18-year-old has been in rehabilitation since arriving at the SUNS in December and has progressed to what he calls "controlled agility".
There's no sign of contact or no sign of playing soon, but the young Victorian is not fazed.
"There's no real timeline at the moment," Hollands said of a return to playing.
"There's a long-term view ahead. I want to play a lot of footy for the Gold Coast Suns and I've got a good mindset knowing I can't play all of them this year.
"We'll work day by day and week by week, but there's certainly no rush to get out there and play footy."
Touted as a potential No.1 draft pick before suffering the injury, Hollands slid to the SUNS at No.7.
Although the Victorian didn't miss much last year as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down local footy, what he did miss was access to medical staff and rehabilitation, slowing his recovery.
Walking into not only a new club, but a new state and being unable to train with the main group, Hollands said he had to work extra hard off-field to build relationships.
"Not being on the other side of the boundary line and training with them each week is a bit tough and challenging, but it's all going to make it that much more exciting when I'm able to get out there and get that opportunity," he said.
"I've had to put a little bit more work in off the track and in the rooms and in the gym or at lunch, but I'm certainly enjoying my time up here.
"I'm loving the group … they've really wrapped their arms around me."
Coach Stuart Dew recently told AFL.com.au Hollands had done everything possible to fit in.
"To be fair, and credit to Elijah, he's responsible for a lot of the way he's integrated into the footy club," Dew said.
"He's confident, he's outgoing, he mixes well with all age groups.
"We're really patient. We've sat down with Elijah and made that really clear and he's on-board importantly.
"He sees the opportunity to build the rest of his body.
"Everyone is focused on his knee, but when you come in as an 18-year-old, it's about building the whole package.
"His knee is coming along well, but he's spending a lot of time and positivity on the rest of his body as well.
"We want to make sure that when he comes in, he's really comfortable. We don't want to waste this opportunity."