British & Irish Lion Geoff Parling is nearing his return to action after a lengthy injury layoff and the lock insists he has found his time on the sidelines frustrating to say the least.
The 30-year-old, who featured in all three of the Lions’ three Tests against the Qantas Wallabies last summer, has been struggling with a shoulder injury and missed all of England’s fixtures during February and March.
Watching on with some envy the Leicester Tigers man has endured a difficult few months as he recovers from his surgery knowing just how much rugby he has missed.
But Parling admits it is all part of being a professional sportsman and knows he has to wait patiently and take the rough with the smooth.
“I’m training now, probably a couple of weeks away from playing,’’ he said. “I’m a very, very frustrated watcher to say the least it.
“I watch with a little bit of envy probably, I’ve played a lot of rugby and it feels strange to not be part of it.
“I talk about things in the past tense rather than current as I’m not playing now. I had a great summer, part of the Lions squad and it’s all about coping with the ups and downs of being a professional sportsman.
“Things for me are certainly very different to how they were a few months ago, but it’s all part and parcel of it and it’s how you cope with it.’’