Brad Barritt has been passed fit to lead Saracens in their European Champions Cup semi-final against Munster on Saturday -- just three weeks after it appeared his season may have been finished.
The 32-year-old centre suffered an ankle injury in the closing stages of Saracens' 56-27 quarter-final rout of Glasgow on March 30 to take the shine off a resounding home win for the London club.
But the former England international has now recovered from a ligament problem to captain Saracens against fellow two-time former European champions Munster at Coventry's Ricoh Arena in central England.
Barritt said Friday he feared his season was over when he went off against Glasgow.
"Yes, in terms of pain, I had a pretty good inclination; I thought it was quite serious," he explained. "But we have put a lot of time and effort into trying to turn it around.
"It is probably credit to (physiotherapist) Richard Bamford who has been looking after me every day for the last three weeks."
The South Africa-born midfielder added: "If this game was a week later you probably would have only pushed for four weeks. But the nature of this game was three weeks and we wanted to give every chance to try to make it happen.
"So I'm just thankful it wasn't something that ruled me out for the rest of the season."
Barritt is renowned for putting his body on the line, through both ferocious defensive play and in his ability to break the line in attack.
But he insisted that, at this stage of a northern hemisphere season, all players were taking the field 'hurt' to a greater or lesser extent.
"I wouldn't even know where to start!" joked Barritt, chuckling at his lengthy injury history.
"But now, I am not too dissimilar from a lot of people. With rugby, you are always managing one thing or another.
"Even the guys who are 100 percent fit, there is still some component of their body they are rehabbing or looking after at that point.
"It is not too dissimilar from seven or eight players downstairs who are managing things at the same time."