If All Blacks' wing Cory Jane's humour is any guide, he is back sharper than ever after his injury-enforced time out.
Jane endured a long lay-off after suffering a serious ankle sprain while playing for the Hurricanes this season; an injury which ruled him out of the three tests against Ireland in June.
Now that he is back fully fit and refreshed he is a near certainty to start on the right wing for the All Blacks in their first Rugby Championship assignment against Australia in Sydney next Saturday, August 18.
After explaining how he put his recent break to good use - "It's good and bad. It's bad not being in the All Black environment but obviously good that you're out of the rugby side of things and you can use the time to get better. Hopefully I'll come out of it in better shape" - the wisecracks began, suggesting he is in fair form off the pitch anyway.
A recent "yo-yo" fitness test (a tortuous shuttle run which gradually increases in intensity) resulted in a personal best and a joke that he finished flat out on a gurney and taken to hospital.
The 29-year-old suggested that he had beaten only props in the test but that, and the fact that he had grown a "massive" goatee beard, had boosted his confidence.
In all seriousness, Jane's inclusion in the squad means Zac Guildford has dropped out. Richard Kahui's shoulder problem, which ruled him out of the Ireland tests, allowing Julian Savea to shine on debut at Eden Park, continues, which means Savea is the leading contender for the left wing spot.
The competition for places was important, said Jane, who has played 31 tests.
"I've had it in the past where I've started on the wing and you sort of take it for granted and then all of the sudden you're not in the team and you've got a boot in the a*** ... having those guys around to push you every time you go out to play or the training field, you have to do well because you can be gone just like that."