Collingwood backman Tyson Goldsack is set to play on in 2019 after pushing the boundaries to return from a knee reconstruction during the AFL finals.
The off-contract veteran tore the ACL in his left knee in March, but made a strong comeback during last week's qualifying final loss to West Coast.
With just two VFL games under his belt, the premiership defender had the better of Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy for three quarters and provided a steadying influence in a largely-inexperienced Collingwood backline.
The 31-year-old is keen to sign a new deal and had positive initial talks with Magpies list manager Ned Guy while on holiday in Europe in July.
"There's nothing concrete but I've said I want to play on and the club have stipulated that they're pretty keen to have me go around again," Goldsack said on Wednesday.
"We've had a bit on our plate the last couple of weeks so contract talks haven't been prioritised.
"We'll pick that up again soon and hopefully we can work something out."
A ruptured ACL typically comes with a minimum 12-month recovery period but Goldsack was determined to defy the odds, opting for a quadriceps graft rather than the traditional hamstring graft in a bid to speed up his recovery.
A positive consultation with his surgeon at the 10-week mark was all the 31-year-old needed to throw caution to the wind with his rehabilitation.
"I just felt that if I did everything right, I could be a bit more aggressive. Being older allows you to take a bit of a risk," he said.
"Even from day one I just wanted to get better as soon as I could, whether that led me to playing round one next year or whether that had me playing at the end of this year."
While a red-eye flight home from Perth didn't help, Goldsack said he was feeling fresh and had pulled up much better from the West Coast game than either of his VFL hit outs.
The versatile backman is likely to play on GWS spearhead Jeremy Cameron in Saturday night's qualifying final at the MCG, but said he would love to spend time on Toby Greene, whose 'fly-kick' marking contests have come under scrutiny.
"As long as he doesn't kick me in the face, I'll be okay," Goldsack joked.
Australian Associated Press