Fit and looking ahead to his 250th game on Sunday, Western Bulldogs veteran Rob Murphy says his original plan to retire at the end of this season could change.
Halfway through last year Murphy had resigned himself to finishing his career in 2014, with the Dogs seemingly making little progress under coach Brendan McCartney.
However Murphy, 32 in June, says the dramatic upward turn in fortunes the Dogs experienced in the second half of 2013, and another pre-season filled with positive energy, had re-energised his outlook.
Appearing on Fox Footy's On The Couch on Monday night, Murphy was asked if he was now open to playing beyond 2014, to which he replied: "Yeah, halfway through last year - it had been a pretty tough couple of years - but we sort of got a roll on and I feel as fit as I ever have now."
"I think there is definitely an upward spiral. I was always very confident in the long-term plan, but always in the back of my mind (I was) thinking 'would I be around for it'," he added.
"Halfway through last year, you would like to see more results so that was really pleasing, the second half of the year. And out on the ground it started to feel good again, and it hadn't felt like that for a while."
There has so far been no questioning the value Murphy brings to the team, and he will reprise his role as a play-making defender this year after finishing fourth in the club's best and fairest last season.
A former No.13 pick who began his career with the Dogs in 2000, Murphy will become just the ninth Bulldogs player to reach the 250-game milestone when he lines up against West Coast.
That his family and supporters will travel to Patersons Stadium to witness it has come as a pleasant surprise, given it was originally feared his serious elbow injury during the pre-season would keep Murphy out until round five.
The former All-Australian has made a rapid recovery and ticked the final box last Thursday after emerging from an intra-club practice match unscathed.
"I'm convinced it's okay," Murphy said. "I'm surprised how well it has recovered, but it's fully healed."
The story Rob Murphy set for 250th game, may play on in 2015 first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.