JOBE Watson said he had been unsure if would ever play in the AFL again after deciding to return to Essendon for next season.
The 2012 Brownlow Medallist was one of 34 past and present players at the club banned after the supplements saga.
His suspension ended this week, a week after his teammates because he played in the International Rules series.
Watson spent time in New York in his enforced year off and said he had had times when he "leaned either way” on his future.
"When I left Australia I didn't think I'd be coming back to play,” he said.
"I was really fortunate I was living in New York with a flatmate I was able to open up to and be honest with about how I was feeling.”
Watson said having new experiences, including a stint as a barista, broadened his outlook on life.
"I struggled (as a barista) ... almond milk is a nightmare to work with,” he joked.
"It was really fun.”
The Bombers star said there was no thought in his mind about moving anywhere else on his return.
"I never contemplated going anywhere else (to a different club),” he said.
Earlier this week, Essendon coach John Worsfold said the club needed to know within a fortnight whether Watson would keep playing.
Watson confirmed he did speak to Worsfold before making the decision to play on.
He was the last of the 17 current and former Essendon players still on AFL lists to confirm his intentions.
Of the 12 players who have finished their suspensions who are still at Essendon this year, only Michael Hibberd and Tayte Pears are not staying.
ARM SPORTS BUREAU
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