James Haskell is ready to return for England after seven months out with a foot injury
The England back-row is set to play his first Test match since last June, off the bench, against France on Saturday after being laid low with a foot injury.
Haskell made an aborted comeback against Leicester last month – which lasted 35 seconds before he was concussed – and managed 57 minutes against Zebre in the Champions Cup for Wasps before the pain resurfaced.
That capped a miserable period for the extrovert 31-year-old who had been reborn as an England player under Eddie Jones and was a mainstay of last year's Grand Slam-winning side and the victorious tour of Australia.
In between Haskell has written a fitness book – Perfect Fit – which stretches to 100,000 words and is due out in May, started training to be a barista, has done a few shifts on TV, and been spinning discs as a DJ at student gigs.
He was late on parade for England's training camp in Portugal last week because of the niggles but his despair should be ended when he gets a run-out at Twickenham this weekend after missing the autumn international clean sweep.
Haskell receiving treatment after suffering a concussion for Wasps
Haskell has had slightly more rugby than skipper Dylan Hartley, who was banned before Christmas, and is ready to throw away the records, laptop and coffee machine and get back to business.
"People ask if you find it frustrating in the rehab process but I say no because I couldn't have played if I had wanted to," he said. "If you are fit and you can play and you don't get picked that is frustration. I couldn't do it.
"I have had six months of training, fitness and rehabilitation. The way we train here is super-intense. Yesterday's session was like an 80-minute game. I feel pretty prepared to do myself justice and to do the team justice.
"I've been hammered for seven months. I've had two weeks off since the Australia tour and even then they gave that to me begrudgingly because they wanted me to have surgery straight away. I said, 'I need two weeks off or my head's going to fall off'.
"Physically there isn't a massive drop-off, maybe speed of thought sometimes, but I'd say everyone is prepared.
Haskell in action during an England training session ahead of the Six Nations
"With this environment, it's such a good one. It's an addictive thing, you want to keep being involved. But I've got no power to select myself, otherwise I'd always be there, I'd be playing until I was 45."
Haskell's restless nature and pursuit of other interests has seen him branded – in his own words – a "dirty secret" by previous England management teams.
But the Wasps man revealed it was his father Jonathan who encouraged him to take his eye off the oval ball occasionally.
He added: "My old man said to me very early on that you can finish rugby and go and sit on your X-Box, or your arse, or you can get up and do something.
"I tried to teach myself different skills. I am a Level One barista, I got that done. I make an unbelievable flat white."
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Sun, March 20, 2016
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Express Sport brings you all the best pictures from the 2016 Six Nations Championship, where England achieved their first Grand Slam since 2003
Haskell is a 70-capper on the rugby front but is still a novice when it comes to rocking the dance floor.
"It is all house music," he said. "As long as you have got more people dancing than sitting down then you are on a winner. I don't think I am Tiesto or Calvin Harris yet.
"For me it just fun. I love music, I have always used music as a tool to prepare for games. I wanted to learn a skill. We have time on our hands to learn stuff."
Meanwhile misfiring Leicester have signed France centre Maxime Mermoz until the end of the season.
The Tigers have a huge hole to fill in midfield with Manu Tuilagi and Wallaby international Matt Toomua both out with long-term injuries. The 30-year-old Mermoz, who arrives from Toulon, has won 35 caps since 2008.