He's had enough setbacks over the past four months to test the resilience of anybody.
But in typical fashion, Mitchell Pearce has done what he always does - picked himself up, dusted himself off and faced the challenge head-on.
Which is why he is full of positivity as he begins the long road back from another serious injury.
A fortnight after rupturing his pec and undergoing surgery, Pearce is smiling again and already back on the exercise bike and in the pool with his rehab kicking off over the past few days.
He is eyeing off a round 14 return against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, which is two months away, but says he will be "busting his backside" to try and get back a week earlier than that.
In his first interview since tearfully leaving the field against the Dragons clutching his left shoulder, Pearce says the injury may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, with the halfback fresh for the big end-of-season games.
"That's the way I'm looking at it now," he told us. "I was absolutely guttered and emotional when it happened. I was pretty teary in the sheds straight afterwards. It was a shit tackle but just a reflex thing that happened.
But what's done is done and I've just been thinking, 'this year is a long way from over'. That's what is going to drive me now.
"Hopefully, the boys can string some wins together and by the time I get back, we can be in a position to make a real run at it over the back-end. I'll just be busting my backside and training as hard as I can between now and then."
After not missing a game in 2020, Pearce has faced some challenging times on and off the field this year, some of them self-inflicted, others out of his control.
His private life became public following a series of headlines over the Christmas-New Year period when his wedding to fiance Kristin Scott was called off due to a texting controversy.
There was also intense speculation over his playing future before he inked a one-year extension with the Knights while allegations of poor behaviour during the off-season, some investigated by the NRL Integrity Unit, were all proven to be made-up.
Just to add to his dramas, he also had surgery on a broken hand before the season even officially kicked off.
While he is still reluctant to talk about the status of his relationship with his partner, there are clearly positive signs on the home-front that are no doubt boosting the Knights halfback's overall outlook and his recovery process.
Off the grog
Knights players were off the beers on the Gold Coast after the game despite staying overnight last weekend but it wasn't a punishment for their abysmal performance.
Turns out they are all off the grog and have been for a number of weeks with the edict, agreed to by players and staff, dependent on the number of days between games according to prop David Klemmer.
Still on the Titans' trip, in what turned out to be an omen for what was to come, the team bus somehow became wedged on traffic humps as it left the Knights' Mayfield headquarters on the way to the airport for the game last weekend. All the players had to get off the bus and push to get it going again.
Our sympathies go out to Newcastle legend Paul Harragon and his family following the passing this week of his father Harold, who was a wonderful support and role model for the inspirational Knights premiership-winning captain. Sadly, Danny Buderus also lost his much-loved grandmother this week.
Are the Knights about to put their hand up to field a team in the NRL Women's premiership in 2022?
We are hearing the NRL is talking about potentially putting a new franchise up for grabs for next year and Knights boss Phil Gardner has made it clear over the past few years he is keen for the club to take part in the women's competition.
Newcastle officials could know as early as next week if Jake Clifford is a chance of being released by the Cowboys to join the Knights immediately.
Clifford and his manager are pushing hard for a release with the Knights very keen to bring the 23-year-old in to fill the void left by Mitchell Pearce's injury.
Given Pearce will be back in seven or eight weeks, the Knights understandably want Clifford here sooner rather than later but have no bargaining chip.
The Cowboys hold all the aces and it will likely hinge on how badly they want to open up another roster spot after already releasing Josh McGuire to the Dragons.
Ponga strikes early
Kalyn Ponga wasted no time in climbing up our Knights' player of the year standings in his first game of the season following shoulder surgery.
In a forgettable team performance against the Titans in Rd 5 last weekend, Ponga was the Knights' best, grabbing the 3 points. Bench forward Brodie Jones had his best game in the NRL to take the 2 points, just ahead of Jayden Brailey, who laid on a try and made 50 tackles to pick up 1 point.
Current leader board: 8- Daniel Saifiti 5- Jayden Brailey, 4- Connor Watson 3- Bradman Best, Mitch Barnett, Kalyn Ponga 2- Brodie Jones 1- David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell.
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