JETS striker Radovan Pavicevic faced the real prospect of not being able to properly use his left hand.
The 19-year-old suffered a badly broken arm and nerve damage which resulted in partial loss of function when he crashed into a metal railing playing for the Jets youth team in July.
On Tuesday, the ambitious teenager used the same hand to hold the paper still as he signed his first professional contract with the Jets.
Pavicevic’s two-year deal was reward for perseverance and ability and capped a magic month in which the Marconi junior made his A-League debut and scored his first goal.
‘‘Everything has happened pretty quickly and been a bit of a roller-coaster,’’ Pavicevic told the Herald on Tuesday.
‘‘There was a chance I wouldn’t regain movement in my wrist and fingers.
‘‘I didn’t let it get me down. I never saw it as something holding me back, it was something I had to get through.’’
Pavicevic was back in time for the Jets’ opening match of the national youth league season and made his A-League debut off the bench in the 7-0 defeat to Adelaide last month.
He followed that with a goal in his home debut in the 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar a fortnight ago.
‘‘I set myself a target when I was coming back from my arm to score an A-League goal by the end of the season,’’ Pavicevic said.
‘‘I have done that now, and hopefully I can add a few more.’’
On a youth contract for the past three years, Pavicevic lives with teammates Mitch Cooper and Allan Welsh and planned to celebrate his upgrade by ‘‘buying the boys some pizza’’.
‘‘I have been working a long time for this and it feels good to finally have it,’’ he said. ‘‘Before the Wanderers game I got called into the office and they presented a contract to me. I took it home and had my parents look over it and I signed it today.’’
Pavicevic was 17 and still at school when he travelled up the freeway for a trial with the Jets in September 2012.
‘‘Jimmy Pascoe knew me from schoolboy stuff,’’ said Pavicevic, who was the youth team player of the year last season.
‘‘I came up here for a trial and managed to impress the coaches. I had to move schools and move away from home.
‘‘The club really helped me. I went to Hunter Sports High and I lived with [former Jet] Craig Goodwin and a couple of youth league boys.
‘‘It was pretty tricky to juggle it all, but I got through it and managed to get into electrical engineering at uni.
‘‘I did the first semester, broke my arm and have put it on hold.’’