But that won't matter to the Monaghan flyer and former Osprey as he finally takes flight in Ulster colours under new coach Mark Anscombe at the Cardiff Arms Park this evening.
"I'm really so excited to be back in an Ulster jersey," beamed the delighted Grand Slam winner.
Bowe has not played since undergoing a harrowing six-hour operation to remove a haematoma following last season's disappointing Six Nations campaign with Ireland.
"I can't believe I haven't played since March," he added. "I think the nerves are kicking in already."
Visiting the buoyant Blues, restored to their fabled city home, will soon force him to confront any anxiety as Anscombe continues to liberally select from his squad ahead of next month's Heineken Cup openers.
Five personnel changes and three positional switches to tonight's team are the latest results of the Kiwi's enigmatic juggling, which has managed to establish the Pro12's only unbeaten record from their three games.
Bowe's return elbows fellow international Andrew Trimble over to the left wing, with Michael Allen moving to midfield outside Darren Cave, wearing the 12 jersey so proudly once worn by the late Nevin Spence, for whom there will be a minute's silence this evening, while both sides will also wear black armbands.
Paddy Wallace returns for the first time this season, albeit to cover from the bench.
Up front, regular captain Johann Muller, who has not been alone in expending so much exhaustive emotional energy this past fortnight, has picked up a slight knock and is replaced by Neil McComb.
Ireland international forwards Dan Tuohy and Chris Henry will make their first appearances of the season, the latter captaining the side.
"It's early days yet because he is only 20," Anscombe says of Henderson. "He is learning his trade. It will take a couple of years and he is by no means the finished article.
"I don't think we need to make that decision right now on his best position.
"From a national point of view, second-row is a key position, but he has the attributes to play No 6 as well."
Cardiff Blues -- D Fish; H Robinson, D Hewitt, J Roberts, T James; J Tovey, L Williams; N Trevett, A Kyriacou, T Filise; B Davies, J Down; R Copeland, A Pretorius (capt), S Warburton. Replacements: R Williams, C Ma'afu, S Andrews, L Reed, R Watts-Jones, R Lewis, G Davies, T Williams
Ulster -- J Payne; T Bowe, M Allen, D Cave, A Trimble; P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, N Brady, J Afoa; N McComb, D Tuohy; I Henderson, C Henry (capt), N Williams. Replacements: R Herring, C Black, A Macklin, L Stevenson, M McComish, M Heaney, P Wallace, C Gilroy.
Ref -- Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Cardiff Blues v Ulster,
Live, BBC2, 7.05