TWO games after a 12-month knee injury setback, Fremantle ruck Alicia Janz has finally restored confidence in her body ahead of Saturday's do-or-die AFLW clash with North Melbourne.
After admitting to feeling nerves in her round five return, a win over Geelong last weekend on the road has the 28-year-old primed for a possible AFLW preliminary final berth.
As the Dockers prepare to host the Roos with a Conference A preliminary final on the line, Janz believes her injury concerns are now a thing of the past.
"Leading up (to round five) I had no idea what to expect," Janz told womens.afl.
"When the doctors told me I was ready to go, I did question it a lot because you're just not sure about your own body after a knee reconstruction.
Being able to go out there and put myself in different situations really made me confident that I'm OK and it's really just a mental game.
Janz required a PCL reconstruction on her left knee, but also had to manage MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) strains sustained in the final round last year.
Following an exhaustive rehabilitation period – she was unable to complete any form of activity for 10 weeks – Janz has returned in a dual-ruck setup alongside Parris Laurie.
"We talk together a lot about how we're going to approach the game, what each of our strengths are and how we can help each other," Janz said.
Having worked closely with the Wirrpanda Foundation's Deadly 'Sista Girlz' program in recent times, Janz has led the way for indigenous involvement at the Dockers.
"I feel sorry for the other indigenous girls in the team because I hassle them all the time about a number of ideas," Janz said.
"I'm probably one of the louder, more overbearing girls.
"Within the club we've decided to make this week about acknowledging our traditional custodians. A lot of us are … getting right into spirit."