Three weeks after fearing his season was over Brad Barritt will captain Saracens in Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final against Muster.
The 32-year-old centre turned his ankle and hobbled out of Saracens’ 56-27 quarter-final thrashing of Glasgow on March 30, in pain and in a panic about his injury.
Fast forward 21 days though, and Barritt has somehow recovered from that nasty ligament problem to lead Saracens into their Ricoh Arena encounter.
Asked whether he thought his season was over when struggling to leave the field against Glasgow, Barritt said: “Yes, in terms of pain, I had a pretty good inclination; I thought it was quite serious.
“But we have put a lot of time and effort into trying to turn it around.
“It is probably credit to (physio) Richard Bamford who has been looking after me every day for the last three weeks.
“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 has developed a fearsome reputation as one of rugby’s toughest competitors time and time again through both his brutal defensive physicality and his ability to break defences in attack.
But the former England centre is perhaps most renowned for putting his body on the line for Saracens’ greater good.
This latest rapid recovery only further underscores his remarkable healing powers, with his presence a big boon for Mark McCall’s side.
Even the guys who are 100 per cent fit, there is still some component of their body they are rehabbing or looking after at that pointBrad Barritt
Barritt, however, insisted that every top player will be managing at least one niggle at this stage of another gruelling campaign.
“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 per cent 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.”