Sydney Swan Gary Rohan says his right leg is finally pain-free nearly three years after it was severely broken in a collision with North Melbourne's Lindsay Thomas.

It was round four, 2012 when Rohan was carried from the SCG with a sickening injury that would sideline him from the Swans' senior team until round 21, 2013.

Rohan started his return game against St Kilda as the Swans' substitute and held his spot for the rest of the season, playing in the finals losses to Hawthorn and Fremantle.

Rohan looked to have cemented himself in the Swans' senior team when he played the first four rounds last year, but in reality he was struggling.

His leg had troubled him for most of the 2014 pre-season, forcing him to back off on a lot of his conditioning training.

The Swans speedster celebrates a goal last season.

When the season started, his leg began hurting by half-time in most games, making it impossible for him to run out a full match.

He was substituted out of the Swans' round two loss to Collingwood at three-quarter time, and then started as the substitute against Adelaide and North Melbourne in rounds three and four.

Dropped after the Swans flopped to a 43-point loss against the Roos at the SCG, Rohan knew he would have to prove he could run out full games with the Swans' reserves team in the NEAFL before he could earn a senior recall.

To do that, he would first have to build his leg up, on the training track and in the gym.

It would take time and Rohan's cause was not helped when the Swans hit a rich vein of form after the North loss, winning their next 12 games in a row.

"It was actually a good test for myself to play some really good footy, get some miles in my leg in the reserves and play a role in the reserves off half-back," Rohan told

Rohan earned a recall against Port Adelaide in round 13, but did not win a possession after coming on as the substitute in the last quarter, and was promptly dropped again.

When he earned another recall against West Coast in round 16, Rohan was confident his leg was up to a full game of AFL football.

"I said to myself that it was the opportunity I had to grab and luckily I took it," Rohan said.

Rohan did not let his opportunity slip for the rest of the season, playing every remaining game.

The 2009 draft's No.6 pick also played the best football of his career in a new role in defence, most memorably starring against North in the first preliminary final with a career-high 23 possessions.

More importantly, his leg gave him no trouble.

Better yet, this summer it withstood a full pre-season for the first time in three years, prompting Rohan to declare it was back to normal.

"This year I haven't had any problems with it which is good," he said.

"I'm over the leg now, it's in the past and now I'm looking forward to this year."

One thing has never been far from Rohan's mind this summer – the Swans' 2014 Grand Final capitulation to Hawthorn.

The Swans went into that game as favourites but, after kicking two of the match's first three goals, were treated like ragdolls by the Hawks as they cruised to a 63-point win.

Rohan did not sense anything amiss in the Swans' build-up to the game and quickly dismissed any suggestion of complacency in the wake of their preliminary final rout of the Roos.

One of Rohan's best performances in his short career was against North Melbourne in last year's preliminary final.

After his breakout performance against North, Rohan was one of the many Swans who had an off day against the Hawks.

"I didn't know what to expect to be honest because it was my first Grand Final," Rohan said.

"But it was a very different game to the regular season, the tempo and the physicality were a real step up."

The memory of how the Hawks bullied him and his teammates has driven Rohan this summer in his cardio sessions in a room at the Swans' gym known as 'the dungeon'.

"It always pops in my head that I don't want to have that feeling again, so I work as hard as I can to make sure I'm fit enough and capable enough that if that situation happens again I can do something about it," he said.

Rohan suffered a minor hiccup two weeks ago when he strained his hamstring, but it was a minor injury and he was due to return to full training on Monday.

The former Geelong Falcon has worked hard in the gym this summer, adding 2kg of muscle to now tip the scales at 90kg.

He is hoping his improved upper body strength will help in one-on-one contests, while he already feels more explosive in his first few steps off the mark.

Rohan is looking forward to resuming his counter-attacking role in defence this year, realising that he is one of the players in line to help cover the loss of premiership half-back Nick Malceski, who joined Gold Coast as a free agent last October.

Rohan's greatest asset is his ability to break games open with blinding runs from the defensive 50.

But his speed can be a detriment, with the 23-year-old acknowledging he has had to work hard on his kicking on the run.

"When I go to kick it, I've got to ease off a bit in those last two steps," Rohan says.

"I've worked a lot with Nick Davis in the pre-season as well and I'm probably kicking the best I have for a while which gives me more confidence.

"I'll back myself now which is good."