It has been a journey to hell and back, but for Giuseppe Rossi who has had six operations on a right-knee which his doctors describe as a "ticking time bomb," there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Rossi, who has scored seven goals in 30 appearances for Italy has struggled with a reoccurring knee injury, which has ensured that the bright-eyed striker has only played in 42 competitive games for both club and country in the past four years.
Indeed, having undergone his fifth and final knee operation earlier in 2015, Rossi who had considered retiring from football made his long awaited come back when he came off the bench in ACF Fiorentina's 3-1 defeat away to Torino in August.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Since then Rossi, who had been recovering in the country of birth, the United States following a gruelling string of operations on his right knee, has been involved in Fiorentina's last two games, with his long-awaited return hugely appreciated by a purple fanbase who want to see their side once again compete with Juventus for the Serie A title.
Despite containing a side littered with talent, the Viola failed to find an answer to the gapping hole left by Rossi and his sicknote of a partner, Mario Gomez, with striker Khouma Babacar and right-winger, Josip Iliic needed to compensate by scoring the goals needed to recover from this setback.
Article continues below
Big chance for Rossi has arisen
The Viola were every part of an exciting side last season with a talent-rich Fiorentina side boasting arguably one of the most talented midfield-departments across the European football spectrum, with former coach Vincenzo Montella also guiding the Tuscan outfit to semi-final berths in both the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.
However, what they were missing and what probably hindered them from achieving silverware last season was that they were missing a striker who could have given this disjointed Fiorentina side the penetration that they deserved.
With Mario Gomez now on loan at Turkish side, Besiktas, an opportunity has now arisen for Rossi to announce his return from this serious knee injury by catapulting Paulo Sousa's side to both domestic and European success.
Before injuring his right knee in a 1-0 victory against Livorno in January 2014, the spicy Italian had scored 16 goals in 21 appearances for Fiorentina in every competition, and had found a way back into the Italy squad with a place in the Cesare Prandelli's 23 man squad all but confirmed.
What appeared to be just a knee sprain which would keep the New York-born striker out of action for three weeks turned out to be arguably the most serious injury of his hampered career, with the 28-year-old denied a chance to feature at his first ever world cup, with Prandelli raising doubts regarding his fitness despite briefly recovering in time for the tournament.
Can Rossi now kick-start his career again?
Although this ill-felt decision still lies in the back of Rossi's mind, it is fair to say that the former Villarreal and Manchester United striker is keen to put the worse behind him as he looks set to save his career.
Commonly named as "Pepito" in Italy, Sousa who only took over from Montella in June is licking his lips at the prospect of being able to name a fully-fit Rossi on a weekly basis with the Portuguese manager keen to get off to a good start.
The 45-year-old's main challenge will be to guide Fiorentina to their first Champions League appearance since making the last-16 of the competition back in 2010. Since then, Fiorentina have come nowhere near achieving this feat.
Although Rossi is likely to be integrated back into the first team slowly, every single man, women and child associated with the iconic purple outfit will just be holding their breath hoping that Rossi will come back with a bang rather than going out on yet another whimper.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms