HAVING a Boomers debut snatched away was a tough pill to swallow but Xavier Cooks only needed to chat with good mate Angus Glover to get some perspective.
The 24-year-old was so close to a maiden Boomers singlet he could touch it - literally - only to tear the meniscus in his left knee in his first scrimmage with the national team.
Having a lifelong ambition dangled before his eyes was understandably tough to deal with, but it pales in comparison to Glover's long road back from three knee reconstructions.
The flame-haired guard is now well on the way back to the NBL, something not lost on fellow Wollongong product Cooks.
"I'm looking at three months [out], Angus didn't play for two whole years," Cooks said.
"To come back and play at the level he's playing at right now, it puts a whole other level on things. You read about injuries but until you really go through the experience you don't really understand it.
"Talking to Angus the other day he was like 'yeah I had a meniscus tear between my ACL's' so he's on a whole other level and he's really positive about the situation so I really admire someone like Angus.
"I'm so close with Angus, I'm going to be around the Hawks for the next couple of months, so we'll definitely talk about [rehabilitation] and bounce some things around"
The perspective helps, but missing out on the Boomers upcoming World Cup campaign certainly still stings.
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"It was a roller coaster, making that team was my biggest achievement, I was over the moon, it's hard to put into words," he said.
"To get down there and the very first day, within the first 30-40 minutes of practice, I landed pretty funny and slipped on a bit a wet spot. It's pretty heartbreaking to know you put a lot of work in to get there and then it's all gone before it even happens but it's part of the game.
"The moment they said I couldn't play, I didn't really think about the level of injury at that stage, I just thought about missing out on going to China and playing in these really big games but it could be a lot worse.
"It could be an ACL or something like that. I've been very lucky injury-wise. I always talk about having a young body, it's only going to be three months so I'm trying to be positive about the whole situation."
If there is a silver lining it's the chance to spend three months at home in Wollongong, the longest stint he's had since first departing for Winthrop University five years ago.
It'll see him put up plenty of shots at the Snakepit as BaiMed oversee his rehab.
"I could have gone overseas and done it, my French team would have liked that a bit better, but I haven't been home in a long time, mum loves this option," Cooks said.
"BaiMed have great facilities, Basketball Australia really talked them up. I'm going to work on my upper body, come back a better shooter and just trying to come back a better player than when I left."