LEVI Greenwood knows what it's like to stay patient.
He had to bide his time to establish himself in North Melbourne's midfield, even though he felt he was capable of being a first-choice midfielder long before a breakthrough 2014.
After making the switch to Collingwood in last year's trade period on a sizeable money deal, Greenwood was forced from the field before he could get going after suffering a hairline fracture in his right ankle in the Magpies' final NAB Challenge game in March.
"You put in the big pre-season, you get to the end of the line and then you hurt yourself, which is quite frustrating," Greenwood told AFL.com.au.
"That's footy. You get injuries and that's what happens."
Greenwood made his return through the VFL in June after eight weeks on the sidelines and two separate setbacks, to his ankle and a pre-existing foot complaint, which delayed his return even further.
"I wasn't patient with it," Greenwood said. "I wanted to come back as soon as possible. I had a couple of setbacks so they put me back a couple of weeks.
"Once it got to eight or 10 weeks I was like, 'I just want to play, now'. But I came back and probably pushed it a little bit too hard.
"The last training session before I was coming back I twisted it a bit and set myself back two weeks.
"I'm feeling fit now and as other guys get tired towards the end of the year hopefully I can toe the rope a little bit there and run out games pretty well."
Greenwood, 26, said it was time to prove to his teammates and the coaching staff why the club recruited him.
"It would've been worse if I'd come in and got dropped for form. I'm just doing the best I can and they've seen that throughout my rehab," Greenwood said.
"I've got another five games to show it now and hopefully I can gain respect that way."
Greenwood is yet to play in a Collingwood win, having been part of three consecutive losses in his team's six-game losing streak.
He hopes Saturday's game against Carlton at the MCG will be a watershed moment for him and his team.
"It's been a little bit flat the last couple of weeks and the boys have been a bit down, but all it takes is one win to turn it around and we'll get some momentum back the other way," he said.
"It's hard to put the finger on what's going wrong at the moment but hopefully we can iron out a few creases and get the win against Carlton on the weekend."
Greenwood believes it is his obligation, just as Travis Varcoe and Jack Crisp have done, to speak up and provide advice to his developing teammates.
However, he is wary about getting the timing right, considering he is only just starting to establish himself at his new club.
"When I do speak up people listen," he said.
"I need to come outside myself a little bit more, maybe because coming from North a different team, a different perspective is always welcomed.
"All in good time – hopefully when I'm back playing some good footy I can give some good advice."