But his form for Saracens has led to the 30-year-old being called up by Warren Gatland for his second Lions duty having travelled with the squad to New Zealand in 2005.
Stevens is the only one of the Gatland's 37-man squad to not be playing international rugby and the front rower admits that isn't likely to change any time soon.
"I am not thinking about that [England return], it is just about this tour and I am relishing every minute of it," he said.
"Any international player when they retire has second thoughts and it was the most difficult rugby decision I have ever made.
"But it was the right choice at the time, obviously it has given me the chance to play week in, week out for Saracens and has got me in contention for this trip.
"It has been difficult but I didn't retire because I didn't think I was good enough, I retired because there were other things I needed to sort out to get back playing for Saracens.
"I had just come back from injury and it wasn't fair on me playing a bit part for Stuart [Lancaster] when I thought I wasn't going to be there for the World Cup in 2015."