Leinster centre Garry Ringrose maintains that his focus is on returning from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Vodafone Summer Series in July.
Ulster’s James Hume filled his spot in the international squad this summer as Ringrose began his recovery.
The 26-year-old has had an IKD in Santry recently to test the strength of his shoulder and, although he feels that it went well, the Leinster man is still disappointed that injury derailed his previous season.
“It was unlucky, I guess, probably a couple of years worth of injuries squeezed into the one season, but that’s just kind of how it goes,” Ringrose conceded. “It’s the nature of the beast, unfortunately.
“It was frustrating. For each of them, they were all kind of broken bones really, which is just unlucky. I wasn’t left wondering was it something I could have done differently in preparation.
“You just kind of deal with it, you’ve 24 or 48 hours to get the head right and then kick on and reset the focus to rehab and get back. There were a few times last year, and hopefully, I don’t have to do it all this year once I get through this shoulder.”
The Irish international also spoke of the mental toll the injuries have had on him throughout the last year.
He appeared only ten times in the blue shirt throughout last season as he broke his jaw against Italy last October, which was the beginning of several injuries in several months.
Ringrose hurt his jaw once again in December but was suited up in green during the Six Nations.
However,his return did not last long as an ankle injury during the tournament saw him miss the rest of the season, with a shoulder problem being the icing on a very unwelcome cake.
“Certainly in the immediate, you’re in a bit of a hole, probably a bit angry at the situation, a bit upset by it but thankfully I’ve people close around me that are incredibly helpful and supportive, family and friends, and then the guys at Leinster, the medical team, they kind of helped me through that initial bit and then it’s reset, set new targets and kick on from there.”
Those targets included getting back training and with all the extra time on his hands, he was able to, with the help of physios, medics and coaches Kieran Hallett and Denis Leamy.
Ringrose is also expecting to be able to increase the amount of contact and hits he can take in training to further his rehab, and says that he has a few markers to hit that will give him a clear indication of when he will return to the pitch.
The centre currently sits on 86 appearances for the provincial outfit and spoke of his thoughts on potentially reaching 100 in this upcoming season, fitness pending.
“I haven’t thought about that at all but now that you’ve said it, it’s a pretty special milestone to reach.
“It will probably be towards the end of the season if it happens. That would be a pretty cool one to tick off.”
The United Rugby Championship begins on Friday, September 24 and games will be free-to-air on RTÉ and TG4.