I like your last sentence Keep working, it will come.
Your progression and end result depends on the procedure of the surgery and the size and location of the cartilage damage. And also the meniscus repair is something to consider.
Can you share more information?
My advice is to get a good physio, who can guide you through rehab. And also listen to the advice of your surgeon.
Most important is to get the strength back into the muscles of the leg, so that you have good joint stability and proprioception.
take your time, but have a quick recovery!