With each surgery, goalkeeper Keeley Richards thought it might be time to throw away the gloves.
The Canberra United recruit has torn her anterior cruciate ligament twice and undergone a meniscus repair, with her fourth and last procedure occurring in 2019.
So 26-year-old Richards can easily be forgiven for thinking a W-League berth had passed her by.
But a strong season with Logan Lightning FC in Queensland's NPLW caught Vicki Linton's attention, with the United coach luring Richards to Canberra for her first W-League contract.
The Queenslander made her debut in United's 3-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, stepping in for the injured Sally James.
It was Canberra's first clean sheet of the season, with Richards stopping four shots as Michelle Heyman led the charge upfront.
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"I had a good 24 hours to freak out beforehand," Richards smiled.
"I've been out, my knee has been causing me a few issues and I finally completed a full week of training. On Friday, Vicki announced the line up and let me know I was going to be playing.
"It was a combination of just everything. I was so excited. It's the moment you dream of and then you realise it's happening, and the nerves start coming. I went out there and did a job.
"As a keeper, it's always a goal to keep a clean sheet. It's been a goal of the team as well, we went out there with the idea of keeping it.
"We went up 3-0 and the girls just managed to hold them out which was absolutely brilliant. There's nothing better than not conceding a goal on your debut."
Canberra has had three goalkeepers start in as many weeks as James battles a finger injury, with Chantel Jones coming out of retirement to help when needed.
It's hoped James will return to the fray for next week's clash with Sydney FC at Kogarah Oval, leaving Linton with a selection headache between the posts.
"It's occurred due to injury and we wouldn't wish that, but that's a really good point actually," Linton said.
"Richards has done fantastic. It's great she went out and got her first match under her belt, kept a clean sheet and had such a good performance."
Canberra will enter the top-of-the-table clash undefeated, having won three and drawn two matches so far this season.
Linton said their win over Western Sydney will help their lead into the Sky Blues match, which is scheduled for Monday, February 8.
"A lot of respect for Sydney FC and it's going to be really tough," Linton said.
"It'll be particularly good for us coming off the draw last week, I'm really glad we had this game inserted at this time and I think that leads us well into next week."
Round seven: Sydney FC v Canberra United at Kogarah Oval, Monday, February 8 at 4.35pm.