The lungs were fine but Marianna Tolo says she's missing that basketball touch as the Canberra Capitals look to gradually increase her workload.
The star centre played through almost 18 minutes in the Capitals' grueling 67-65 win over the Townsville Fire on Sunday, but her return from injury will be put to the test in this weekend's double-header.
Two undefeated teams will collide when the Capitals meet the Melbourne Boomers at Geelong Arena on Friday night.
The Capitals will continue to ease Tolo back on restricted minutes after the 30-year-old returned to the court from a foot surgery which halted her pre-season preparations.
Coach Paul Goriss is hoping to get another 20 minutes out of the co-captain in Geelong but maintains there will be no expectation given the Capitals have less than two-days to prepare for their Sydney Flames clash.
"It's a discussion I'll have with the physios and doctors this week," Tolo said.
"I'd envision it will be around the same and I'll get a few more minutes being a double game.
"We'll have to see how I pull up after each one and as long as it's okay, as I'd imagine it will be, it'll be okay."
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Tolo played her first competitive match since April against Townsville after a foot infection delayed her return from a foot injury.
The star centre feels positive after the Capitals ground out their second-straight win, but admits it was a tough return to the court.
"It wasn't a pretty game team wise ... but a win is a win and you take whatever you can from the game," Tolo said.
"Personally, it's a bit tough to start like that but I'll get better after every practice and focus on the next game.
"The lungs were fine but it's more of that basketball touch that'll get better each time I get back onto the floor.
"It's a bit different because I've gone through ACL rehab, which is such a long process and you have a long time to get back onto the court. Whereas this, it was everything straight way in a short time. "
Capitals will manage Tolo's workload to avoid burnout ahead of a hectic nine months, which will include Olympic Games qualifications and dreams of winning a gold medal in Tokyo next year.
Tolo and Kelsey Griffin were named in a 19-strong Australian Opals squad for a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur from November 10-18.
"Tolo played 20 minutes this week and we'll probably stick to that again because we don't want to overdo it early knowing the Opals' window is right around the corner," Goriss said.
"That's a priority for her as well as Caps. We'll add her in slowly to make sure she's comfortable, healthy and along the plan."
The Capitals started their season with two-straight wins despite an interrupted preparation. Tolo missed the opening round, while Mikaela Ruef is still waiting for immigration documentation to allow her to play.
Melbourne sit on top of the ladder after beating the Bendigo Spirit both at home and away.
"Melbourne have Cayla [George] and [Eziyoda Magbegor] who are two big presences in their side," Tolo said.
"They'll be tough to shut down but we've played against them our whole careers, so I think Kelsey, Keely [Froling] and myself are ready for that challenge, and hopefully Mikaela as well."