Australian Opals star Marianna Tolo is considering a shock return to the Canberra Capitals as she plots her comeback from a second anterior cruciate ligament tear.
The stars are aligning for the move after scans revealed Tolo has suffered an ACL tear that could rule her out of action for up to nine months.
The lure of being able to continue her rehab at the AIS while preparing to slot into a WNBL outfit down the road has Tolo considering a return to the club.
Tolo would miss the season tip-off in October as she recovers from the injury suffered during a national team camp in Italy, which brought her stint with Turkish outfit Abdullah Gül Üniversitesi to a halt.
But the door is open for the 28-year-old to make a mid-season return to the Capitals during the 2018-19 season.
Capitals coach Paul Goriss thought recruiting Tolo would be a long shot because of her desire to play in Europe but the landscape has shifted dramatically.
"It's appealing to me also because I know the Capitals and I'll still be able to do all my rehab at the AIS," Tolo said.
"It just depends how I'm tracking. That would be a good goal to get to but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
"I'm just seeing how I go and taking it step by step and focusing on the current time. For me it will be important to set goals in the future for what I want to get to.
"Whether that be WNBL season or European season I'm not yet sure. We'll just wait and see how that pans out.
"Anything is possible."
The Capitals are hopeful of announcing further signings this week, with 21-year-old Lauren Scherf the only player on the books as Canberra looks to better a sixth-place finish.
Goriss is keen to make ground on reigning champions Townsville - who have already started an aggressive recruitment drive - and Tolo could help the cause.
Tolo's injury had no bearing on her Commonwealth Games hopes given European-based Opals are effectively ineligible due to a scheduling clash.
She is confident she can bounce back from the disappointment of a second ACL injury to recapture career-best form.
"It was a bit of a whirlwind after it happened, because it happened during the first Opals session," Tolo said.
"I felt my knee buckle but it felt different to the one I'd done before so I was optimistic. We went to get scans in Italy and the initial report said that it was just a strain and there was nothing broken, that everything was okay and there was just a bit of swelling in the area.
"They sent that information back to doctors in Australia and they were a bit dubious so they said come home and have scans. That's when I found out.
"It's obviously disappointing, it means that I'll be out for another nine months but it is what it is, that's sport. I know I've done it before so I can do it again, all the rehab."
Tolo was ahead of schedule in the rehabilitation process last time which fills Goriss with some confidence but he expects her to take caution in her return.
Goriss was in awe of Tolo's resilience following the injury despite the "long, arduous road" she has in front of her.
"The way she handled that adversity, I've seen no other [like it]," Goriss said.
"She has a smile on her face, a positive attitude, she's cheering from the sideline and helping the girls out.
"The positive vibe about the injury, she's just a fantastic human being - obviously disappointed. But I've never seen somebody just go 'it is what it is and I move on and have surgery and do rehab'."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.