AFTER a tough couple of months following a season-ending achilles injury, former Horsham basketballer Mitch Creek was due for some good luck.
The 197-centimetre Adelaide 36ers forward, 20, admitted it had been a long, hard road to recovery after rupturing his achilles against Townsville Crocodiles just nine days before Christmas.
But Creek said a visit to the surgeon has given him reason to smile.
"I've got about another week in my moon boot before it gets taken off," he said.
"I saw the surgeon earlier this month and he said it was one of the best-healing scars and wounds that he's ever seen.
"My physios and my doctor have all said the same thing it's probably the best they've nearly ever seen and one of my physios has been around for 30-something years."
Creek said he had been trying to keep busy in his recovery, with pool sessions, cycling and even keeping team-mates' stats helping keep his mind occupied.
"I've only really got back into it all in the last couple of weeks it's a slow process," he said.
"I found the first couple of months really tough it's too hard mentally to try and stay positive around the group when you can't be a part of it."
Creek feels that the worst part of the injury is behind him and aims to start jogging within the next two months, but he is trying to take things in fortnightly blocks.
"I'm glad that I'm at the tail-end of it and I can start on all my rehab and exercises in the next couple of weeks," he said.
"I'm just trying to focus on the next fortnight which will be pretty much me out of the boot and being a lot more involved in training and getting some conditioning and size back in my legs."
Last season's NBL Best Defensive Player said a round one return was on the cards if all went to plan.
He hopes to get in a few matches for Central Australian Basketball League-outfit Woodville before the start of the 2013-14 NBL season.
"If I can do that then at least I will have a few games under my belt, but I guess the good thing now is getting into a routine of starting to handle the ball again," he said.
"Once I get some wrist strength back I'll be back shooting, so I can start looking forward to doing all those little things again."