British & Irish Lions flanker Tom Croft admits he has had to reluctantly accept that missing the England tour to New Zealand this summer is the correct decision.
The flanker made his return to the Tigers first team last weekend as they finished the regular season with victory over Saracens.
Next up is a trip to Franklin's Gardens to take on local rivals Northampton Saints in the play-off semi-finals and Croft, 28, is keen to be involved in the matchday squad.
However, having missed almost the entirety of this campaign with a knee injury and the majority of the previous one with a neck problem, a summer off is exactly what the doctor ordered after his exertions for the Lions last summer.
"I talked it through with Stuart Lancaster [the England head coach] and it was more about the medical side; flying to the other side of the world and the chances of the knee blowing up on the flight," he said.
"It only takes one knock, it blows up again and it puts you back again. So we had a long chat, I was mad for it and Stu wanted me to come along, but medically it is the more intelligent thing to do.
"I feel ready for it (the semi-final). First games are always the toughest, when you come back. But I am happy about my knee.
"There is always that little doubt in the back of your mind that it might not come through but it was fine. If I'm required I will hit it head-on, but that is up to Cockers [Cockerill]."