But a dislocated shoulder suffered as Glasgow Warriors took on Ospreys back in September meant he was forced to sit out the 2013 RBS 6 Nations - only watching on as Scott Johnson helped reinvigorate Scotland following Andy Robinson departure.
And the former Scotland captain, who has 55 caps to his name so far, was hit by more bad news as Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend revealed his No.9 requires an operation his shoulder, ruling him out until the next pre-season.
"Chris has done everything in training, and full contact, and was complaining about a little bit of pain in the back of the shoulder," Townsend told The Scotsman.
"The more he's stepped up and done in contact at training - that's what has brought on the pain.
"It is a major blow. With the amount of rehab he's done, being out for six months, and coming back at this great time of the season would have been fantastic for us, but Chris is very confident, having spoken with the specialist, that this [operation] will fix the issues and he'll be flying for us next season."