Newcastle Jets defender John Koutroumbis says he feels fantastic after recovering from surgery following a diagnosis of stage one thyroid cancer, but isn't putting a time frame on a potential return to A-League action.
The 20-year-old has returned to full training after undergoing surgery in October.
"I feel fantastic. I'm really going out there getting my fitness back, it's the usual routine I used to do,'" Koutroumbis said.
"There's time on my hands now, so all I can do is just get fit and see what happens from there really.
"It definitely is an itchy feeling to get back out there, but obviously health is the first priority, but in time I'll be out there soon enough."
Koutroumbis felt a lump on his neck before a pre-season game and had it scanned in the days following the match.
"It was just a big shock because I run around and I'm healthy, I eat healthy," Koutroumbis said.
He adopted a positive attitude towards the news.
"It was positive thoughts all the way through up to the operation, even afterwards," he added.
He looks at life now from a different perspective.
"You don't take things for granted anymore, you think about other aspects of life," he said.
"My head-space is I just want to get fit again and be out playing."
He was heartened by the support he got both inside and outside the club.
"It was very warming to get so many messages from fans all around Australia. The whole football community was messaging me and I felt really a part of something, everyone cared," Koutroumbis said.
He hopes other people learn from him talking about his experience.
"I want to spread awareness, especially with getting checkups from your doctor, your GP, if anything is unusual." he said.