GWS defender Sam Taylor lost 10 kilograms while fighting a painful bacterial infection in hospital, during which he was more worried about walking again than playing AFL.
Taylor, featuring throughout last year's finals series and an underrated cog in the Giants' defence, admits it is ambitious to think he could return this season.
The fact that the 21-year-old, having initially been told his frightening health scare could be COVID-19 or an autoimmune disease, is setting that goal is incredible.
A month ago, Taylor's post-game aches after helping GWS to defeat Collingwood quickly transformed into excruciating pain.
He woke in the middle of the night unable to move and stopped eating because a trip to the kitchen was too excruciating.
The youngster was told to isolate in his room because of coronavirus suspicions, meaning teammate and housemate Jackson Hately couldn't offer any help.
Taylor thought he was improving but realised he wasn't and went to hospital, where doctors attempted to get to the bottom of the mysterious problem.
"I had five blood tests in the first night," Taylor recalled, fiddling with a bumbag containing an infuser which pumped antibiotics directly into his veins.
"I was shaking ... still in so much pain.
"I was nowhere; on so many painkillers; couldn't really sleep or move. Definitely the worst experience of my life.
"I didn't think I was going to die. I had a specialist meeting and they said this could be an autoimmune disease, so my body attacking itself. Which could last my whole life ... he was talking about going on steroids."
Taylor was in shock. His first thoughts were 'can I please walk and be able to go to the toilet again?'.
"I have a lot more appreciation of the little things, people who can't walk or are disadvantaged," he said.
More follow-up tests led to a diagnosis of septic arthritis; a debilitating infection in Taylor's wrist, ankle, hip and lower back.
The backman, who told his worried parents in Western Australia to stay home because they'd need to spend two weeks in quarantine on returning to Perth, started a heavy dose of intravenous drugs.
Taylor won't ever forget the insertion of his PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line, a tube running through his arm directly to large veins in his chest.
"It was disgusting," he said.
"It just did not feel right.
"It was about 40cm.
"I felt it sliding down ... he just kept pushing it down and down my body. I just felt so violated."
Taylor stayed with club welfare manager Dylan Addison on discharge then, last week, returned home and stopped using crutches.
The PICC line, checked daily by a nurse, was due to be removed on Wednesday and he remained desperate to play AFL in 2020.
"I'm feeling better every day, so I think why not?" Taylor said.
"It could be ambitious ... I'll need a month to get my fitness back."