Steve Borthwick is "good to go" after injury, but the England captain feared the worst after being kicked in the eye by Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam.
Borthwick, the Saracens player, was eventually cleared of any serious injury following the incident at Vicarage Road, but only after a “nervous” few hours as doctors carried out tests on his eyeball and his eye-socket.
It was not until the morning after the incident that specialists at Moorfields Eye Hospital were able to clear Borthwick of a fractured orbital.
Azam was suspended for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to kicking an opponent but he has lodged an appeal, which will be heard tomorrow night.
Borthwick’s eye is still bloodshot but he is desperate to be back in action and will play for Saracens in Thursday night’s Amlin Challenge Cup trip to Jonny Wilkinson’s Toulon.
“I am good to go. It has healed really well,” said Borthwick.
“It was a nervous time. The eye swelled shut immediately so I couldn’t see anything and it had taken a bang so it was numb and I couldn’t feel anything.
“I was very alarmed by it. I spent that night in hospital and they told me as early as possible that everything was okay.
“They said the eyeball itself was healthy but they had surgery booked for the next day because they were 95% certain I had a fracture.
“Thankfully the next morning when they did more tests they said there was no fracture and that the eye just needed to heal.
“It took several days to open up but I have got my vision back and as a rugby player I am desperate to play rugby so I am really looking forward to getting back involved later this week.”
The pair have “spoken briefly” since then but Borthwick would not comment further because of the Frenchman’s pending appeal.
The original disciplinary panel accepted Azam’s claim that he had lashed out with his right leg in an attempt to free his left ankle, which was being twisted at the bottom of a ruck.