Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia is on the comeback trail from injury, but admits that the physical and mental break from the game has been invaluable.
The Reds star has recently started training again after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee four months ago, and expects to return to action in the next three months, but described his time on the sidelines as a 'blessing in disguise'.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I reckon the injury for me is definitely a blessing in disguise. Obviously I'd like to be playing as much as I can but it's given me time off.
"The last three, four years I've been playing a lot of rugby, almost every game of Super Rugby and almost every Test. To have the opportunity to have a complete mental break from preparing to play and playing as well has been quite refreshing for me and I've enjoyed it," he explained.
Having missed the Wallabies' year-end tour to Europe Genia has relished the opportunity to take part in the Reds' pre-season training, although his involvement has been limited to running as he looks to strengthen his knee.
"Spending time with just the guys you wouldn't normally spend during pre-season, you build better relationships and you build more bonds.
"To see how the boys have been working quite hard and then you see the Wallabies guys come back from the spring tour and the level does go up and the intensity, the skill level and everything," he said.
Whilst his physical recovery has been right on track, Genia explained that the toughest part has been the mental aspect of recovery.
"I think mentally it's been the hardest. Physically things come back quite quickly in terms of the process but mentally to get into your head that you've got to do every little thing really well so that the knee can heal and you give it time," he said.
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