After 17 months sidelined by illness, Tyler Wright will finally make her surfing world championship tour return in this week's season-ending Maui Pro in Hawaii.
The last time Wright competed in the Maui Pro she claimed her second world title in 2017.
This time, the 25-year-old says it's the next step in a long recovery process which she hopes will allow her to contest the world championship tour again next year.
The Sydneysider was initially diagnosed with Influenza A when she fell ill and was hospitalised in South Africa ahead of the 2018 J-Bay Corona Open.
However, complications continued to plague her and frustrate all her efforts to get back on tour.
"It's taken me 17 months to recover," Wright told worldsurfleague.com.
"It messed up my brain and my body.
"I can feel that I've been out of the water for a year-and-a-half. I can feel that I'm 10 kilograms lighter."
"Things are different. It is an adjusting period."
Wright has spent the past few weeks chasing swells around the Hawaiian Islands, testing her strength.
"I love being back in the water," she said. "I haven't surfed this much since I was 14. I've got boards everywhere. I'm exposing myself to bigger and heavier waves and love it.
"I've taken a lot of steps to get to this point, and it's been a lot of hard work. And after Maui, there'll be another step.
"I'm not sure what pulling the jersey on will be like, or what is going to happen. But I'm okay with that.
"That's part of the reason why I'm here, to expose myself to that competitive environment again. It's part of the recovery process and I'm ready to embrace it."
This year, the Maui Pro at Honolua Bay will host the world title showdown between world No.1 Carissa Moore (Hawaii), No.2 Lakey Peterson (USA) and No.3 Caroline Marks (USA).