Last summer, Kayla Harrison tweeted photos of herself at the hospital -- fresh off knee surgery -- with the words: "The comeback has started."
The 24-year-old Ohio native marked the next stage of that journey on Friday with a bronze medal at the 2014 World Judo Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Harrison stormed back through the repechage after losing to the eventual champion -- Mayra Aguiar of Brazil -- in the 78-kilogram semifinals.
Before her injury, she ranked among the brightest U.S. stars at the 2012 London Olympics. Her story made national news when she spoke of being sexually abused by a coach and nearly quitting the sport.
Harrison won gold at those Games, becoming the first Olympic champion in U.S. judo history.
The world championships are scheduled to continue through Sunday.