It's been a long road back from rehabilitation but Andy Ogilvie was determined to end his career on a high note.
Returning to Calgary for the first time since having surgery on a torn ACL, which he suffered midway through last season, the 40-year-old defender was back on the floor yesterday preparing for the Roughnecks' season opener against the Edmonton Rush Jan. 13.
And the thought of capping off a long lacrosse resume with a championship makes the perennial tough guy happier than ever to return.
"I didn't want to end 35 years of playing lacrosse that way," said Ogilvie in reference to having teammate Andrew McBride, who accidentally rolled on his knee, an injury which ended his season.
"I haven't really done that much in the NLL, so I'd like to go out on a positive. Being able to pull off a championship might just be enough for me to finish my career."
Ogilvie, who has compiled 75 points and 286 penalty minutes in 60 games during his NLL tenure, has often toyed with the idea of retirement.
However, with no complications during his rehab and with the Roughnecks once again expected to challenge for the Champions Cup this season, it was a no-brainer for the Peterborough, Ont., product to pick up the stick again.
"I've announced my retirement about eight times now, so I didn't really say anything after I got hurt last year, except we'll see," he said.
"I knew (the injury) was a good one. It was probably the most painful one I've ever had and the initial assessment was pretty severe but rehab went well and all the doctors and physio people said I could go."
Ogilvie played the majority of his NLL career for the Buffalo Bandits and part of one season with the now-defunct Vancouver Ravens, joining the Riggers for the start for 2005 campaign.
Known for his solid defensive style of play and his fists of fury, Ogilvie admits his personal goals have changed with time off.
"There's a lot of bigger guys that can step up now," he explained. "They won't be counting on me as much to fight all the time but that doesn't mean I'm going to change my style that much. I might still get in on the odd one."
The 6-ft. 1-in., 210-pounder will no doubt be expected to throw his weight around this season but will also be relied on to bring some leadership to a relatively young d-corps.
For now, though, Ogilvie is just making sure the knee is ready for home-opener.