After picking up a serious knee injury just days before the start of the 2018/19 season got underway, we caught up with Billy Bodin to discuss the progress he is making on his road to recovery.
The winger had been in impressive form in pre-season, and was a big part of manager Alex Neil's plans for the new campaign, but Bodin suffered a ruptured ACL in training which would keep him out for the majority of the season.
Despite admitting how tough it can be mentally when facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the 26-year-old told the official PNE Podcast how he is staying positive as he continues his rehabilitation.
"The rehab is quite tough but everything is going well." The Welsh international told Guy Clarke in the latest episode of the podcast. "It's a lot to get your head around being out for quite a while but everything is going well so far.
"Every three months you assess it and see where you're at. It's obviously nice that I'm nine weeks in now so I can push on a little bit more.
"This week I started doing a lot more than what I had been doing which is nice because you don't want to be stuck in doing nothing. The worst bit is watching the lads go out, putting their boots on and hearing them running out.
"Now and again I have a look out and see them training and it's not nice to see but the sooner you get it in your head that you've got to work hard and get your head down, it becomes a bit easier and you almost enjoy it in the end.
"Not too much obviously because you want to be out there, but you get your head around it and come in every day thinking that every day is going to be a better day. It's tough but you've got to deal with it."
Speaking of his disappointment in the timing of his injury, Billy continued: "It was disappointing I was going to be suspended for the first game anyway so I had only just got my head around that and then to pick this sort of injury up was a massive blow for me because I wanted to prove to the fans what I could do.
"I probably didn't do it as much when I first came in, so it was a massive blow for me and I was gutted but it's something I've come back from before so there's no reason why I can't do it again."
Billy has since been joined in the treatment room by teammate Josh Harrop, who unfortunately suffered the same injury against West Bromwich Albion last month, but although he wouldn't wish the injury on anyone, the forward is hoping the pair can work together and push each other on in their recoveries.
"When you get told you'll be out for a long period of time, it is not a nice feeling and you've got to get your head around. Obviously Josh Harrop has had the same sort of news recently and he keeps asking me questions and he was obviously a bit worried.
"I said to him, 'I've done it before, Woodsy [Calum Woods] has done it before, Tom Clarke has, and even though it's bad news you have to get your head around it and work hard. I have come back from it before, as soon as I did it I sort of knew what it could be. It's almost mentally more than anything, getting your head around it, and the more you think about it the worse it gets.
"Coming in every day and seeing the lads gets your mind off it and once that operation is done, you've got to crack on straight away and a lot of people, a lot of players have gone through it and it's not something that people can't come back from now. So it's going well and hopefully it keeps going well.
"When I got the injury the first time I didn't even have a club, I had just left Torquay and I knew a physio at Bristol City at the time, in their youth team. Luckily there was a lad who had actually done his a week before me, and when you do have someone going through it with you it is a bit easier, you can talk about it, have a chat about how things are going with your rehab.
"You don't want anyone to get this injury but the fact that he's done it and we've both got to come back from it now, it is nice to have someone there to push you on as well sometimes. The fact we have both picked up the same injury will push us on and we can push each other throughout the rehab."
Bodin is now focussing on a return to action, and is hoping he is able to return for the final weeks of the season but admits there is a long road ahead before then.
"It's nine weeks since my op, and I'm looking for the end of the season, if hopefully everything goes well. I spoke to the surgeon the other day and he said 'just keep doing what you're doing and hopefully you'll come back a bit sooner than what I thought'.
"So hopefully it's the last month of the season but you never know what might happen, there are obviously a lot of things that could go wrong in that time so I am just taking every day as it comes and hopefully if I keep working as I am at the moment, and it continues as it is, then there might be a bit of game time before the end of the season."
You can listen to Billy's interview in full on Season Two Episode 15 of the PNE Podcast, available on iTunes and SoundCloud.