North Melbourne’s VFL clash against the Northern Blues this week, will mark the end of what has been a gruelling eight months for Sam Durdin.

Having suffered a broken leg mid-way through 2018, the key defender's return to football was put on hold after a kitchen mishap at home saw him slice his finger, and derail the start of his 2019 campaign.

“It was probably one of the most difficult times of my life to be honest,” Durdin admitted to North Media.

“At that point, I had completed two full training sessions and I was looking to come back and play in that last JLT match and be right for the start of the season, so to come back from my broken leg and then injure my finger, was frustrating.

“I’m in a much better head-space now, and I’m just looking forward to playing again.”

The 22-year-old says he sought help to get over his disappointment and tried to put his energies into having a positive off-field impact.

“I worked pretty closely with our Performance Psychologist, Stephen Rendall, and I just focused a lot of changing my mindset to continue looking forward and not dwelling on the past,” Durdin revealed.

“When it happened, it was about accepting what had happened, and thinking about how I was going to deal with it in a positive way.

“The main thing I focused on, was doing what I could to help the VFL team, and that was by helping coach David Loader, and the backs with assistant Matt Kershaw.

“I’ve also been lending a hand to some younger players like Red Og Murphy, Tom Murphy and Joel Crocker this season. That’s been main focus for me, and I’ve quite enjoyed that actually. It’s put me in a good head-space and it’s given me something to focus on and look forward to.”

2019 is shaping as a defining time for Durdin, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

“It’s obviously something that I’m aware of, but it’s not something I think about too much,” he said.

“I’m not really one to get too negative about that stuff, because that’s just the situation I’m in.

“I know I have to play some good footy this year to prove to the coaches, and the list management, that I deserve another shot.”

That pursuit to prove his worth will recommence this weekend, as he suits up for North’s VFL side.

Given it’s been almost a year since his last competitive outing, Durdin is understandably eager to lace up his boots again.

“I’m very excited to get back out there,” he said.

“July 17 was my last game against Richmond in the VFL when I broke my leg, so it’s been a long and frustrating recovery.

“I’m here to play footy, so I’m keen to get out there and have a kick.”