NEWCASTLE Jets goalkeeper Neil Young is determined to put two months of living hell behind him after resuming light training this week.
Young was hospitalised from late January to late March, including two weeks in intensive care, after suffering an allergic reaction to medication when he underwent surgery to repair a broken nose.
The 30-year-old endured three operations, and faces another surgery in a fortnight, and lost 20 kilograms because he was unable to eat for four weeks.
Since being released from hospital six weeks ago, he has regained eight kilograms and took another major step on the long road to recovery on Monday when he joined teammate Michael Bridges for a light gym session.
"I'm back in the gym at the moment, so I've started some of that sort of training," he said. "I've just been doing as much as I can before I start to feel sore . . . I'm back out on the golf course, too, which is nice."
The Jets resume training on May 17 and Young said he hoped to be "doing some basic stuff".
"I won't be running by then but I'll be able to do weights," he said.
His aim is to be back to his playing weight of 88kg and in full training by the end of July, just before the season kicks off.
With his wife and two young sons, who stayed in Perth when he joined the Jets last year, now settled in Newcastle, Young said he was in a good frame of mind and trying to move on from his nightmarish ordeal.
"To be honest with you, I don't think about it any more," he said.
"I just think about the next step. Moving forward, basically . . . I've got through it now and I'm just looking forward to this season."
Young's horror story started on January 13 when he copped a stray boot in the face playing against Gold Coast which smashed his nose.
A routine operation to repair his nose deteriorated into a potentially life-threatening situation when he reacted to antibiotics he was prescribed after the surgery.
As Newcastle staged a late-season resurgence to reach the A-League play-offs, Young was left wasting away in a hospital bed.
But having waited until the age of 30 to make his A-League debut, and having impressed during his nine games for Newcastle last season, Young is in no mood to walk away from his dream.
"Obviously I won't be number one when we start back at training, but hopefully I can get my spot back pretty quick," he said. "I've just got to work hard again and try and get another contract."