West Coast premiership hero Tom Barrass has opened up about his serious back injury and the recurring issues that have come along with it.
The 28-year-old hurt his back after a scary fall in a marking contest against Richmond in Round 18 last season.
The defender did not feature for the rest of the season.
In an interview with 7 News reporter Ryan Daniels, Barrass explained the injury and what he now struggles with in everyday life.
"I went up for a mark against Richmond and Jack Riewoldt came back into me and tunnelled me a little bit. Anyway I've gone over and landed on my neck effectively," said Barrass.
"It was a compression fracture in my T8 and I've wedged about five other vertebrae a bit shorter... it's just something I'm going to have to manage forever. I'm really lucky I'm not a paraplegic or quadriplegic.
"It still gives me a bit of trouble in my everyday life. It's okay when I'm moving but as soon as I'm static, I feel like I've got a broken back again."
Barrass' recovery hasn't been easy and seemingly won't be for the rest of his career. As such an integral part of the Eagles outfit, the defender does just about everything he can to play.
"It's something that I work on from the second I wake up. I've got to do mobility and get moving and find a way to come to work because it is my job ultimately at the end of the day," continued Barrass.
"I still consider myself lucky to have the life that I have in the scheme of things. It's a problem I can manage."
When asked about the possibility of having a shortened career, Barrass turned to the treatments and rehab work he's been doing to continue his AFL career.
"I think there's certainly a risk of that (a shortened career). With the physiotherapy and some of the other medical treatments that are available to me, I'm able to get out of bed, get moving and get along with my life mostly," Barrass said.
The premiership Eagle will continue to work through his injury, but admitted if anything was to happen to his back again, the issues would be much more dire.
"If I do it again I'm certainly in trouble, but I'm like you. I've got a mortgage and this is my job. I've got a family and I've got to go to work every day. There's a point in which I'll certainly stop trying and I'll have to completely prioritise things," said Barrass.
"I've got a job, I've got a role to play and I'm going to do my best to balance all the balls while I can and if that becomes unmanageable, then I have to say goodbye."
With such a severe injury at only 28 years old, the 132-gamer may not have the career he was initially destined to have. It's clear that he still has plenty to offer the club and will continue to play the sport until he physically cannot anymore.