Richard Hibbard was forced to sit out of Wales' tour to South Africa last month but the hooker admitted the time off wasn't a total disaster.
After helping Wales to the RBS 6 Nations crown in 2013, Hibbard embarked on a British & Irish Lions tour Down Under, returning victorious.
This year the 30-year-old started four of Wales' five games as they failed to retain the RBS 6 Nations and he conceded the shoulder problem that eventually ruled him out this summer has long been a concern.
Hibbard has since completed the switch from Ospreys to Gloucester and, despite the disappointment of watching on as Wales visited the Springboks, he heads into the new season refreshed.
"It was frustrating and it's difficult being injured but the only time you really get a rest is when you're injured," he said. "I'm gutted I missed the tour but I'm also glad I've had time to rest up.
"The shoulder was gradually getting worse and worse. Coming back from the Lions, I had a short break, played some rugby with the Ospreys, had some hard autumn internationals and it started taking its toll by Christmas.
"By the second game of the Six Nations I could hardly lift my arm up, so I knew it was just a matter of time before I was broken but it's all good now.
"I can't wait to get on the pitch, it will be like the first day of school and you want to impress the teachers."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.