Lewis Moody lines up against France this weekend just three months after he feared his RBS 6 Nations hopes for this season had been wrecked by injury.
Moody sustained a shoulder problem in England's victory over South Africa at Twickenham last autumn but is now ready to return to Clive Woodward's back row after just three comeback matches for Leicester.
He said: "Originally I was due to be out for the whole of the 6 Nations. It would have been three to four months if I'd had the full repair which I was due to have done.
"But when they went in the injury wasn't quite as bad as they originally thought so it was only a seven-to-eight-week job.
"They cleaned up some of the muscle and cleaned out the joint and a few tears and a bit of damage around the actual capsule itself and sewed it back up."
But, despite bouncing straight back with three fine displays for the Tigers, Moody certainly took nothing for granted.
"You never know really," he added. "As a player you can only play the rugby on the pitch and leave the decisions on whether you are selected for the national side up to the coaches and hope your performances will be good enough to influence their decision."
The measure of the regard Woodward holds him in can be gauged by the fact that former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio begins the match on the bench.
Before Will Greenwood started breaking down moves off the field, he was doing the business on it - and no match better illustrated the type of marauding centre he was than in a virtuoso performance against Wales.