Young Sydney Swans defender Alex Johnson last played AFL football in the 2012 Grand Final.

He was a star on the rise with a very successful team and the future looked bright, before a horrible run of injuries struck him down.

Since then, he has gone through 5 knee reconstructions, 12 operations and a serious infection in his knee, which has made it 1736 days since he last played.

I can’t imagine what that must have been like.

Months of boring, repetitive rehabilitation, followed by a significant setback.

Followed by more rehabilitation and then another setback.

And so on and so on.

It must have been so easy to consider giving up, and no-one would have blamed him.

But this weekend, he pulls on the boots again for his first competitive game in almost 5 years.

How does someone remain so resilient?

Alex himself says,

“It is just something within me that I have been able to keep positive and keep everything in perspective.  There are a lot of people a lot worse off than me in the world and I have still had a really good job over the last few years where I come to work with really good people and keep fit for a living.  I have always had that goal of returning to the field and that is what I want to achieve.”

I don’t know what your situation is, but when you feel like giving up on your goals after a series of seemingly insurmountable setbacks, remember Alex Johnson, and stay positive, keep things in perspective and keep working hard towards your goals.

All the best in your comeback game Alex, and thanks for being such an inspirational young man.