COMING back to top level netball after having a baby is one thing.
Doing so after a knee reconstruction is another matter entirely.
Tania Hillier has done both in the past couple of years and is finding the return from her knee injury much tougher.
Hillier is a month away from her first game back for the Carina Tigers, after tearing the anterior, posterior and medial ligaments and meniscus cartilage in her knee early last season.
"It feels good at the moment," the 29-year-old Brassall resident said.
"I'm doing pretty much everything at training. I start defensive work tonight."
Then will follow contact and one-on-one work as she looks to make her competitive return.
"I've been pulling up better than I thought I would," Hillier said.
"My knee was a little bit sore after our Monday session."
The wing attack could only watch last season as her Carina teammates took out the state tier one title, fuelling her desire for a title this year.
"The goal is to win the premiership again," she said.
"Of course I wanted to do it with them last year.
"It's made me more driven this year to at least be there."
Hillier finds herself in a leadership role this season after a number of last year's veterans retired. "I think it will make it a bit tougher," she said.
"We've got a new structure but we're still strong."
She admits she has found it tough at times coming back, particularly juggling rehab with a toddler and work.
"I've found it a lot more difficult after the knee than after the baby," she said.
"After the knee injury, your muscles are just gone and you've back to square one."
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