It has been a long journey back to the football pitch for Brisbane Roar and Matildas forward Hayley Raso.
In late August during an NWSL match for Portland Thorns, Raso was stretched from the field in extreme discomfort after a collision.
News broke the following day that the 23-year-old had fractured three lumbar vertebrae.
However, after months on rehab including an extended stay in the United States before she could come back to Australia, her hopes of making an appearance this W-League season is inching closer and closer.
Early last month, Raso was back kicking the ball at Roar training before recently commencing full training and is itching to get back on the field.
"It's been a long road and process so excited to be back in full training with the team," she said.
"Obviously it's a little bit frustrating being out but I'm trying to take this injury as best I can and just focus on getting out there."
Roar currently sits seventh on the ladder with two wins under their belt this season.
However, it's been tough to watch her teammates from the sidelines and she feels as though there is pressure to return.
"I try to stop that just because of how serious the injury was," Raso said.
"I'm just trying to take it day by day and just see how I'm progressing."
With a World Cup looming, selection for the Matildas squad is in the back of Raso's mind.
Raso made her last appearance for Australia during the Tournament of Nations in July and August this year.
"Just seeing the World Cup draw gets you more excited that it's coming up really soon so my goal is to just get back and start playing minutes again this W-League season and keep progressing and make that World Cup squad," she said.