Leicester Tigers wing Miles Benjamin is nearing the end of a long road to recovery after breaking his neck last year.
Benjamin fractured his C5 vertebrae in a collision during an 'A' league match for Leicester against Northampton Saints, leaving the former Worcester winger in a heavy-duty neck brace for the first three months of his time with the Tigers.
After a second surgery in January and months of gruelling rehabilitation, Benjamin missed out on Leicester's Aviva Premiership success last season but is tantalisingly close to a playing return.
"I am getting there but it has been such a long time, it is worth making sure I get it 100 per cent right before I come back," said Benjamin to the Leicester Mercury.
"It's unlikely that I will be back for Worcester [on September 8]. I have been out for such a long time that I don't want to rush it.
"I have been doing lots of rehab and have been training outside with the boys, which is obviously something I have not been doing a lot of recently.
"I still have a few hoops to jump through with rehab but it is looking good. It was just a freak accident - I mis-timed a tackle. I caught my head on Scott Armstrong, the Saints winger, and felt pain through my neck. I didn't know what it was for a week when all the damage was revealed.
"It has been tough at times but I still love the game, that never changes. It is hard to put a date on a comeback because I have to see if I come through the contact training okay - but I am sure it won't be too far into the season.
"It has been tough at times. Coming to a new club, you want to settle in quickly and the easiest way to do that is to be outside training and getting used to how the club works.
"All I had experienced were the four walls in the rehab room, the four walls in the gym or the four walls in my room at home. But I have not found it hard to stay motivated in training and that is down to the set-up here.
"The fitness staff don't let up on you and that is what you need because I need to come back in the best condition that I can.
"I have had good support from the club. All of the boys have been very welcoming and helpful and the coaches have been very patient."