Football can be a very fickle game.
For all of the hours of dedication and practice it demands from a player, and for all of the sacrifices that have to be made at its altar if you want to make it to the very top, all it takes is one injury, or one moment of misfortune, to set you back months, or to derail you entirely.
West Ham youngster Xande Silva found that out the hard way over the summer.
The 22-year-old was brought in last summer, and rose rapidly through the U23s to make his Premier League debut in a 17 minute cameo appearance against Burnley in December.
Shortly after that, however, he picked up a hernia injury that left him sidelined for the second half of the campaign, and then, just as he should have been on the road to recovery this summer, he had to undergo emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction.
His luck has been horrendous, but thankfully he is on the mend now, and Football.London journalist Sam Inkersole has even gone as far as to put a date on his return to full fitness.
Writing in a piece for the outlet, he said: “Silva is not likely to feature for the club until October at the very earliest, though it may be 2020 before he is back to full fitness.”
Any football for Silva would be a success this season, but if he can get a couple or three of months under his belt, he could prove to be like a new signing for the Hammers.
The Portuguese forward impressed during his brief taste of Premier League life, managing two shots on goal and one key pass, as per Whoscored, as well as impressing throughout his time with the reserves.
He can get back to fitness and kick on again, it is surely only a matter of time before he reaches his full potential.