England manager Martin Johnson is no fan of selection 'gambles' so it says something about Andrew Sheridan that the powerhouse prop is in the World Cup squad after an injury-marred season.
The 31-year-old has played just one game for club side Sale since England won the Six Nations after having an operation that shortened the bicep in his right arm.
So-called "revision" surgery was required to correct a previous shoulder operation which had not worked out as planned.
Given Sheridan's job as a front row forward puts a huge strain on his shoulder and arms, and that one of his key tasks is to anchor the scrum - something that has been central to England's gameplan for almost as long as the Red Rose has been the emblem on their shirt - and it was easy to see why the Sale man feared he might miss this year's World Cup.
The sight of Sheridan wrecking Australia's front row forward at the scrum during England's quarter-final win in France four years ago remains a cherished memory for many English fans, as does the similar havoc he inflicted on his Wallaby opponents at Twickenham in 2005.
Sheridan is unusually tall for a prop and that means he is rarely physically outmatched in a forward battle.
He made his England debut as a replacement against Canada in 2004 and was then, controversially, selected for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand where he made five appearances for the midweek team.
However, he did become a Test Lion in South Africa two years ago, first as a second Test replacement before starting in the tourists' 28-9 consolation win.
Sheridan has been capped 38 times by England, making 36 starts.
But his chances of adding to that tally at this year's World Cup appeared in jeopardy following his latest injury setback.
However, Johnson felt Sheridan had "enough credit", and chose to give him an England recall by picking him in the starting side for the team's final warm-up match, against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday
"They chopped the bicep," explained Sheridan. "They cut off the bit that was damaged with a pair of scissors and reattached the bicep to another part of the shoulder. The bicep tendon is shorter now - but I am still as flexible as ever!
"I also had to have what was called a revision operation because the anchors had come out from the previous op, which hadn't worked. I played with the problem but there was a weakness there."
In a measure of the gruelling fate that is a prop's life, Sheridan has also had two operations on his left shoulder since October 29, after suffering a serious dislocation during a European Cup match against Cardiff Blues.
Asked if he feared for his World Cup place, Sheridan said: "Yes, definitely. When the initial 45-man squad was announced I certainly wasn't counting my chickens.
"I was just concentrating on trying to recover from a third shoulder operation in 18 months. It was quite a major operation to come back from."
But with England's first pool match in New Zealand against renowned scrummagers Argentina, Johnson felt he had to have Sheridan in his 30-man squad despite a lack of game time.
"I wanted him on the field to play before we named the World Cup squad," said Johnson.
"We tried to push his return to the second Wales game. You are always impatient to get him back quicker but we felt he had enough credit to go (to the World Cup) and to get picked this week."
England, who already have several injury concerns, will be desperate for Sheridan to come through unscathed against Ireland.
And the player himself, with the Pumas interested spectators, is well aware of how hard it will be to get back to his best form.
"I am going to be pretty rusty as far as playing time is concerned so it is important just to get out and play in a physical game," Sheridan said.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.