Chris Knights has emerged from a seemingly never-ending tunnel of darkness that had totally derailed his league playing career at Richmond.

The talented left-foot utility hasn’t played a senior game for the Tigers since rupturing his right patella tendon in a clash with Port Adelaide back in May 2013.

It was Knights’ first season with Richmond after joining the Club from Adelaide as an unrestricted free agent.

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Knights had shown some impressive signs in the Tigers’ line-up before suffering his serious knee injury, and the road back to full recovery since has been frustrating, to say the least, with a nagging quadricep injury adding to his woes in 2014.

But 2015 has started in a significantly more positive way for the 28-year-old, who has been able to take part in his first full pre-season since joining Richmond at the end of 2012.

“Because of my body and having a fair bit of surgery, I haven’t been able to participate in the pre-season with the group and have been in rehab a lot of summers before this,” Knights told the AFL Players’ Association’s website.

“Statistics show you need a good pre-season to have a good year and I just haven’t been able to put together a good one for a while now.

“But this one has been great.  The body is good after missing quite a bit of footy, but in saying that, it’s been really challenging at the same time.”

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The tough times that Knights has endured throughout his AFL journey has prompted him to take a  short-term view in terms of his league career aims.

“I’m not short-sighted, but I don’t look too far ahead anymore because anything can change.  One day I’m playing for Richmond and loving footy, and the next I’ve had a serious knee injury . . . I appreciate being able to play footy and being with the boys and doing my best,” Knights said.

“The question is, can I be an asset to this football club?  Contribution doesn’t even have to mean I’m in the senior side; I can be playing really good VFL football and putting pressure on for selection and making everyone else better.”