England's Harry Ellis has vowed to return as "a better player and a better person" after putting months of injury misery behind him.
The Leicester scrum-half, England’s outstanding player in last season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, is poised to make his comeback as a replacement against Guinness Premiership opponents Leeds Carnegie at Welford Road on Saturday
He has been sidelined since last May when he ruptured his left anterior cruciate knee ligament during Tigers’ Premiership play-off victory over Bristol.
Ellis, 25, required reconstructive surgery and then embarked on a long recovery road that meant him missing England’s World Cup campaign last autumn.
He also sat out Leicester’s appearances in the Premiership and European Cup finals, plus the current Six Nations campaign.
England have struggled to plug the gap he left, using four scrum-halves - Andy Gomarsall, Shaun Perry, Peter Richards and Richard Wigglesworth - in his absence during their last 15 Tests.
Recalling the injury, Ellis said: “I knew I would be out for a long time.
“I was on the crest of a wave, and I had it all taken away.
“Years ago, this injury would have been career-threatening, and I have been lucky to have people around me who are experts.
“It has taught me how to be patient and has put a different perspective on life. I have accepted it and just got on with it.
“There is always someone worse off, and I will come back as a better player and a better person.”
Ellis will provide bench cover for Frank Murphy on Saturday against a Leeds side that has lost 13 successive Premiership away games and currently lie six points adrift at the basement.