AN IMPLANT in St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton's chest will act as a precautionary device in case he suffers another heart issue, but the backman says he's not concerned about a repeat of his scary incident.
Roberton collapsed on the field against Geelong in round four last year, and he still doesn't quite know why that happened.
However, having been given the all-clear by his cardiologist, the 27-year-old has been back in full training for a fortnight and is targeting a round one return.
The 2017 Virgin Australia All Australian squad member had what is essentially a mini-defibrillator inserted into his heart just in case a similar incident happens, but there have been no abnormalities with his heart since the Cats game.
It will potentially be removed at some stage, but it's unclear when that is.
He barely gives collapsing a second thought these days.
"I would've thought I'd have thought about it more but I was speaking to Richo (coach Alan Richardson) the other day and he asked me if it crosses my mind. To be honest, I haven't really thought about it since it happened, which is a good thing," Roberton said on Friday.
"There's no worry from my end. I'm sure my family are a bit more worried than I am. As far as my mental state, I'm ready to go."
Roberton took part in a match simulation session, which had two umpires present, and took his customary spot in defence.
Jade Gresham and Jack Billings lined up in the midfield, with Gresham on fire early.
Jack Steele slotted a nice goal on his left and big-name recruit Dan Hannebery took part and had some early touches.
Steele kicks the first goal of the game. pic.twitter.com/5J54yE9P2s— Dinny Navaratnam (@dinnynavaratnam) January 31, 2019
Star backman Jake Carlisle ran laps in his recovery from a back injury while David Armitage watched on, with the club saying his load is being managed.
One of the biggest hurdles for Roberton was returning to contact drills, but that hasn't proven an issue.
"I've been doing everything since post-Christmas, so full contact," Roberton said.
"That was the hurdle that was probably going to test me out a bit, but that's been fine, not having had any contact for six months. Two weeks of that now so I'm ready to go."
After some early doubts over whether he would return, Roberton intends on playing the intraclub on Saturday, February 23, as well as the Saints' two JLT Community Series games. He has no intention of easing his way back into football.
"That's the plan, to get back to where I was. I don't want to come in and find my way again. I want to come back and play better than I did that year," Roberton said.
His season out of playing gave him a chance to explore coaching more, and Roberton found he enjoyed it and plans to pursue that option after he has retired.