Matt Symons had myriad reasons to rush his return from concussion and get back on the field with the Chiefs.
For one, there was the competitive nature at the heart of every athlete, wanting to avoid being stuck on the sidelines and leaving his teammates in the lurch. It was especially true with Symons and the Chiefs, considering the franchise was suffering a locking crisis in the absence of the Englishman.
Then there was the fact that his days in Waikato were dwindling, with a shift back to his homeland curtailing his Chiefs career once their Super Rugby season comes to a close.
However, one factor was more important than all those incentives - his long-term health. So Symons listened to the doctors, waited out the symptoms from his second head knock of the year and this weekend could start his first match in more than a month when the Chiefs tackle the Hurricanes.
"It's the balance between being cautious, making sure you're 100 per cent, and then being a pretty motivated individual and wanting to be out there," Symons said. "So from a concussion point of view, it was a pretty day-by-day thing.
"Some days you might feel great and some days you won't. But, for me, it was pretty straightforward. I was always improving and there were no real blips, whereas some of the other guys coming back have been a lot more volatile with their symptoms."
The Chiefs know that all too well, with prop Ben Afeaki retiring earlier in the year after battling lingering symptoms and No8 Liam Squire ruled out for the rest of the season.
That meant the medical staff were particularly conservative with Symons' recovery, leaving him out of action even after he had passed the required protocols, and even after three other front-line locks had been felled by injury.
Looking on as his team turned to the retired Ross Filipo and development player Brian Alainu'uese, Symons admitted feeling an internal burden in the bid for full fitness, but that feeling was never exacerbated by those picking the side.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't [desperate to return]. But I guess it's a real testament to the coaches and the management that I still didn't feel any pressure to come back, even under those circumstances. And the guys did a great job filling in, [Ross] and Brian are still around and it's great to have them in the team."
That pair's involvement is decreasing as the Chiefs rebuild their ranks, with Brodie Retallick starting in the win over the Reds and fellow first-choice Symons enjoying half an hour off the bench.
The 25-year-old hopes to assume a starting spot on Saturday night and, after the Chiefs lost half their own lineouts in Brisbane, his elevation seems inevitable ahead of the playoffs. But Symons was much more focused on capping his time in New Zealand with a Super Rugby title before shifting to London Irish in the quest for an England jersey.
He was savouring his final weeks at the Chiefs and, after joining a haka at Monday's team awards dinner to farewell departing players, he will take with him some typically Kiwi memories.
"Being an Englishman, I never thought I'd be doing a haka," he laughed.