Flying winger Lucas Pantelis was looking forward to a fresh challenge in a new country when he left Adelaide United for Wellington Phoenix in 2011.
Having played more than 100 matches for the Reds, Pantelis signed a two-year contract for Ricki Herbert's club in June.
All was going smoothly for Pantelis in pre-season when fate chose to intervene.
Five minutes from the end of a trial match against Central Coast Mariners in Tauranga in September, Pantelis landed heavily after jumping for a high ball and tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.
The nasty injury required a total reconstruction that kept him out of the game for the whole A-League season.
It was the same knee that needed a reconstruction after a similar injury in 2006 that forced him to miss the entire 2006-2007 season.
Yet Pantelis completed his second rehabilitation and was getting ready for the eighth league season starting in October when he was horrified to learn that the reconstructed knee got heavily infected.
What this incredible turn of events means is that Pantelis is likely to miss yet another season.
”What have I done wrong, I don't deserve this,” Pantelis said in Adelaide, which is where he was brought up.
”I have been asking myself this question for the last eight months.
”To suffer one reconstruction is bad enough but to suffer two on the same knee is just unbelievable.
”How many mirrors have I broken?
”To get injured in the last game of pre-season two weeks before the start of the championship was devastating.
”But this is what the football gods have thrown at me and there is not too much I can do about it.
”I was looking forward to playing the second year of my contract but now I have been hit by more bad luck.
”I copped a very severe infection in my knee joint and I had to have minor surgery to flush out the infection.
”I am now on a heavy dosage of antibiotics to get rid of the infection but it's another long road ahead for me … this is a lot harder now.
”It's an absolute nightmare, to be honest.
”I sometimes look at the ceiling late at night and pinch myself to see if this is a horrible dream that I'm having but unfortunately the pinch hurts so I know that what's happening to me is real.”
Pantelis, 30, admitted that he did not know if he even had a future in the game he has loved since he was a child.
”There is a chance that I could miss another season and if that happened there is a strong possibility that my career is finished,” he said.
”I might have to give something away that I love so much.
”It's a day-to-day proposition for me now and I am concentrating on my health because this infection could affect your health.
”After that I will worry about my football.
”This is without a doubt the biggest challenge in my short life.
”I suffered a reconstruction of the same knee in 2006, came back and had four reasonable seasons before I did it again last September.
”I knew exactly what was ahead of me but this infection makes it a lot harder now, it's a totally different ball game.
”I don't know of anyone who had this problem.”
Pantelis however is a positive and resilient person and has not given up on making an extraordinary comeback.
This latest setback has tested his resolve but, thanks mainly to the support of his young family, he is determined to beat all adversity thrown at him.
”My wife Carla and two kids are what keeps me going,” Pantelis said.
”We've got a two-and-a-half-year old son and a newly born baby boy and they both bring a smile to my face.
”The two little boys are the sunshine in my day and my wife obviously has been a massive support for me.
”These three people in my life are my main source of motivation.”
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