The trepidation was beginning to grow.
Kate Gaze hadn't been back on a court in about 12 months. How would she go when she laces up the shoes again? She had no contract on the table. Would anyone take her?
Then a call from Townsville Fire head coach Claudia Brassard washed away all of the 29-year-old's fears in an instant. Gaze has a new WNBL home.
A product of the proud basketball family will overcome the anterior cruciate ligament tear that left her career at a crossroads. She will return to the WNBL with the Fire.
Gaze will make her long-awaited return from an ACL tear for the Canberra Nationals against the Hills Hornets at Hills Basketball Stadium in the NSW Waratah League on Saturday.
She will be on limited minutes, sure, but those few fleeting moments will feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off her shoulders.
Gaze has had to settle into "a normal life" with basketball ripped away - she had been let go by the Canberra Capitals, her contract with the Adelaide Lightning had been thrown out the window.
But stepping away from the court she grew up on wasn't all bad - she found a job, found her own car, and she even found a boyfriend.
Now a return to the game she loves, with a franchise she has already won two rings with, is so close she can almost feel it.
"I haven't been back on court yet and literally a week before Claudia called me, I was a bit stressed about getting back on court and not signing with anyone," Gaze said.
"It just came out of the blue and was very welcomed, I'm very excited to be headed back to Townsville after playing there for two years and winning two championships.
"It's going to be great, I've just got to get fit and back into the game. It feels awesome to get the all clear. It's been a long time coming and I've never appreciated a healthy body more in my life than I have this last year.
"It's gone quick but I'm so excited and hope I can be good enough for my teammates and provide something in the game."
Gaze has already been providing plenty off the court having taken on an assistant coaching role for the Nationals whilst she was on the comeback trail.
Her close friend Keely Froling has certainly been putting on a show in her absence, averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds per game.
"To be able to help coach and support these girls has been really good for me personally. It's been a really good learning curve to be on the coaching side of things for once because you have to worry about so many different things other than yourself," Gaze said.
"When you're a player, you just worry about your own game so its definitely been a challenge but its been awesome to be part of the group and contributing off the court while I've been injured.
"It's a massive confidence thing having the full team back. It helps everyone knowing that we have our full squad and makes for a super competitive environment.
"At training now, we're all fighting for spots on road trips to make the 12 to suit up and play. A spot isn't just given so no one should take that for granted."
Gaze won't be the only familiar face suiting up against the Capitals once the WNBL season begins after promising centre Lauren Scherf signed a two-year deal with the Sydney Flames.
Scherf found herself in an Australian Opals camp following a brilliant start to last season but was being kept out of Canberra's starting five by Marianna Tolo.
A move to Sydney could see Scherf force her way into a starting spot as the Capitals look to plug the gap left by the 23-year-old prospect.
Scherf is the second player from Canberra's 2018-19 championship-winning squad to depart after Kelly Wilson's work commitments saw her stay put in Bendigo to link up with the Spirit.