But the 29-year-old is confident that adversity will bring the best out of him as he seeks to make up for lost time.
In White’s absence, Jarman Impey made an impressive transition from defence to attack, while Aaron Young also had a career-best season.
Throw in Angus Monfries – back in the fold after serving a 12-month anti-doping suspension – and Jake Neade, and White knows his place in the team isn’t a fait accompli.
“It’s going to be a nice little fight to try and get my spot back that I had semi-cemented,” White told AFL.com.au.
“The boys finished the year off really well and they’ve come back in good nick, so I’m still chasing them around.
“I like having my back against the wall and I’ve got to fight like I’m a first-year player again.”
The Power’s intra-club games, along with their three fixtures in the JLT Community Series, will be crucial in deciding who gets the nod for their round one encounter against Sydney at the SCG.
White couldn’t take a trick last year.
The new season was less than half a quarter old when he ruptured his right pectoral muscle in the Power’s round one victory against St Kilda.
Sidelined for four months, he played three games for Port Adelaide in the SANFL and was eyeing a return to the senior side when an accidental elbow to the side of his head against Glenelg in the first quarter resulted in a fractured cheekbone.
“I think someone has a voodoo doll, some old Richmond supporters are out to get me,” White joked.
“It’s just one of those things, I didn’t do anything wrong, and the guy who got me with the shot at the cheekbone, neither of us really did anything wrong.
“It was just a collision and a depressed fracture of the cheekbone.
“Walking off the ground, I knew I had done something wrong, but I didn’t realise the extent of it.
“I went upstairs after that and said, ‘I’m done for the year, let’s start fresh for 2017.’”
White has played 41 games in three seasons with the Power after making 105 appearances for the Tigers.
He has signed a one-year deal for this season and is focused only on getting himself back into the team.
“I don’t think I’m ready to go back into the real world yet, the footy world’s a pretty good one,” White said.
“The footy will do all of the talking.
“Whatever happens, happens and if I get another contract, awesome.
“If footy does come an end, it’s 12 years in the system, that’s a pretty good achievement and we’ll move on.
“But first things first, it’s just about getting games and playing.
“I’m not going to worry about anything else than getting a game in round one.”