He has however returned to action in time to impress in Ulster's march to the PRO12 final and did enough to convince Lions head coach Warren Gatland he was worthy of a place on the tour Down Under.
And Bowe is determined to make up for lost time.
"It's been a nervous couple of months waiting for the call," he said. "I was concerned the injury would affect my chances because I haven't played a lot of rugby this season, which I knew was going to hamper my chances.
"I missed out on the Six Nations which is such a big event in which to put your hands up for selection, so I knew I was going to make it difficult for myself, but the fact the coaches had the confidence in me to pick me has been a real boost and hopefully I can find a bit of form to take into the tour.
"I'll certainly be one the fresher guys on tour. It is a tough, bruising season and the guys who've played week in, week out will be feeling it, so hopefully that will work in my favour."