Henry hoping for an Ireland recall
With the Six Nations looming large, Chris Henry could have been forgiven for trying to push forward his return from injury but looking back on it now, he concedes that it may not have been the wisest move on his part.
The Ireland flanker injured his shoulder in Ulster's home win over Toulouse in December and missed two games before prematurely returning against Munster in January.
Henry was subsequently forced to sit out another number of weeks but he returned again against Glasgow last week.
"This injury has been a real niggly one," he explained. "I came back when we played Edinburgh at home then Oyonnax, but in hindsight I think I came back too soon. Now I'm over the worst of it and starting to feel that I've a normal shoulder again!
"It was due to my own desire to get back in the hunt for an international place that I was a bit premature. It just shows you that you need to be fit."
An injury to Sean O'Brien may open the door for Henry to return to the Ireland squad ahead of the England game next week but he knows that he faces stiff competition.
Henry is expected to start for table-toppers Ulster at home to Scarlets on Sunday and he is eager to get some game-time under his belt.
"Rhys (Ruddock) is doing really well as is Tommy (O'Donnell), but if anything happens in regards to Ireland it would be amazing," he said.
"But really now it's about getting back into a rhythm and contribute in an Ulster shirt. If that's enough time for Joe (Schmidt) to think I can do something that would be brilliant.
"Even getting down to train would be a massive bonus. I just have to focus in trying to help Ulster continue at the top of the table."
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.