Carlo Armiento could be forgiven for feeling more than a little sorry for himself.
Two months ago, almost to the day, the 22-year-old found himself clutching his left knee and writhing in agony following an innocuous training ground collision with teammate and Osama Malik.
Having previously torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the former Adelaide man knew exactly what the excruciating pain meant; that instead of building upon an impressive 2020/21 campaign during which made 22 A-League appearances and also featured prominently in the AFC Champions League, he would be spending the next 12 months battling his way back to fitness.
But having processed the setback and undergone surgery back in his native Adelaide, Armiento has returned to Perth and is approaching his recovery and rehab with an impressively upbeat attitude.
“After I did my ACL, I sat down with Greg Mullings (Head Physiotherapist) and Richard Garcia (Head Coach) and the decision was to go back home [to Adelaide] and spend the first eight weeks there,” he said.
“That was best decision I’ve made, to be around friends and family, because especially for the first four weeks, it was pretty tough.
“I basically didn’t move from the couch.
“But being back with the boys now in Perth and doing the rehab, I love it.
“Going down to watch training, you feel like part of the team again.”
And what does the winger’s new daily routine look like?
“I now have a Monday and Thursday, Wednesday and Friday program,” he explained.
“Monday and Thursday is the same program.
“I come in at around 7am, do my own rehab and then I’m with the other rehab boys doing conditioning work.
“One day is more upper-body cardio, the grinder and the ropes and the off day is swimming, so I go down to Claremont and get in the pool which is good to break it up.
“Then on Wednesday and Saturday, I do Pilates.”
Armiento admitted that there have been low points along this most recent leg of his football journey, but overall, he seems to have made peace with what happened on that fateful September morning.
“At the start I was pretty down,” he said.
“I thought I had quite a good season last year and was looking to try and back it up this year, but it is what it is.
“It could have been a worse situation.
“I just need to do my rehab and come back next year and be flying again.”
While he has managed to retain much of the leg muscle mass which previously saw him nicknamed “Quad-zilla” by his teammates, one thing that has changed dramatically about Armiento is his hair which is now a shocking shade of white-blonde.
“I was sitting on the couch for four weeks straight and got so bored,” he said.
“My girlfriend got her hair done by my auntie and I just asked her if she had any more bleach and got it done.
“At the start, I regretted it, but it’s growing on me now!”