Even though Kevin Thomson's career has come full circle back to Hibernian, he is not of a mind to wind down time at Easter Road.
Thomson has crammed rather a lot into the professional element of his 28 years. Even more so when his long, injury-ravaged spells are taken into account. The midfielder was one of Scottish football's brightest young hopes during his first spell at Hibs, won five major honours and played in a Uefa Cup final as a Rangers player and spent three years at Middlesbrough after a £2m move to Teesside.
It is not being disrespectful to Hibs to point out that Thomson would not have been back there since February, let alone playing for nothing except for bonus payments, had he fulfilled his potential. It is injury, rather than a loss of focus, which halted his progression. Thomson, more than most, therefore, has cause to relish his appearance in Sunday's Scottish Cup final against Celtic at Hampden Park.
"I don't feel that football owes me anything, I've had a great run, played in some big games, some crackers," he explains. "People would dream of some of the games I've played in. I'm just glad that people see I've worked hard to get through what I've got through and I'm still here at 28 and feel I've plenty of years left in the tank.
"It doesn't bother me that I am perceived as 'injury-prone'. I think injury-prone is when you get sore back or sore calf issues or hamstrings. I've had two cruciate knee ligament injuries and four broken legs.
"The 'injury-prone' thing frustrates me in the sense that injuries have been bad-luck injuries. You go and see the top specialist in the world and they'll tell you: 'That's bad luck.'"
Matters came to a head for Thomson at Middlesbrough, where his relationship with Tony Mowbray – who had previously managed him at Hibs – and supporters deteriorated. The circumstances in which Thomson trained and played for one full season in the north-east offer a strong mitigating argument against his failure to influence matches as Mowbray knew he had previously done.
"I had 18 months with a broken leg," Thomson says. "I probably played 30 games with a broken leg in the end. People knocked me that I think I played 56 games when I was down there. I was there for two-and-a-half years, played 56 games and probably for three-quarters of that was with a broken leg.
"I never asked for any help, I was happy to battle through myself. The only frustration was that in the end people were doubting what was wrong with me, the manager himself and the physio at the time. That was a frustration in the fact that they thought I was a bit soft and I knew I wasn't. The biggest frustration for me was trying to tell them that. In the end when they realised I had a broken leg, it was relief.
"I took the dogs for a walk and I used to get stuck. When I walked on uneven grass and my bone moved, because it was broken, that would be me. I would be standing at the bottom of the garden. If I went on a bit of uneven turf it would trigger it.
"When I was training no one would tackle me, or kick me. They showed me a bit of respect because they knew what I was going through. Then in a game I had Michael Brown breathing down my neck every time I touched the ball. I couldn't tell him 'by the way, I've got a broken leg, don't tackle me today'."
As this scenario unfolded, Thomson briefly contemplated retirement. It was his father, Alan, a staunch Hibs supporter, who talked him out of that course of action.
"I remember after one of the games that Tony Mowbray said to the media that maybe it was time for Kevin to pull up his sleeves and his socks and get on with it," Thomson recalls.
"It was a quote that gave me a kick in the teeth, to be honest. It was from a man that knows what I am all about and knows me really well. I heard it on the radio going home from the game and that was when I had had to come off again. That was the nail in the coffin. I phoned my dad and said 'I've had enough.'"
Thomson's perseverance took him back to fitness, back to Edinburgh and another cup final. If he has his way, it seems the man capped three times by Scotland will collect a winners' medal before settling some unfinished business south of the border.
"It's a Catch 22 – it's great to come back to Hibs and feel wanted again and it has given me a platform to play, plus having the fairytale of playing a cup final," says Thomson.
"But I also feel as though I could still play in the Championship easily and, if I had an opportunity to go back down the road and give it another crack? I'd have no sweeter satisfaction than going back to Middlesbrough with another team and doing really well against them."
Hibernian v Celtic, 3pm BBC1 Scotland/Sky Sports 3