Lee Best says that he is relishing a playing return to the Recreation Ground when Bath Rugby take on Gloucester in the Zurich Premiership on Saturday (2.15pm).
Best, 25, has not played at the home of Bath Rugby for almost twelve months and admitted to www.bathrugby.com that it is something that he has not stopped thinking about ever since undergoing a complete knee reconstruction last September.
"I am so excited," beamed Lee. "It is something that I have thought about ever since I started my recovery. The atmosphere at the Rec on a big match day is special and as a player it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up just doing the warm up prior to kick-off. I would say that it was that goal of playing at the Rec again that hauled me through some pretty dark times earlier this year."
Best, who was awarded the Bath Rugby Community Foundation Community player of the Year at the club's annual awards dinner last May, made his competitive playing return last weekend in his side's 18-10 victory over NEC Harlequins at the Stoop. It was an impressive return for the talented full back, who looked comfortable under the high ball, full of running with the ball in hand and strong in defence. However, after such a long spell out of the game Lee struggled a bit with cramp, but he said that he was not expecting a repeat on Saturday.
"I was pretty happy with the return," he said. "I struggled with cramp late in the second half, but I am sure that I will not have the same problem on Saturday. I made a few mistakes which have been put down to being a little rusty and lacking in match fitness, but it was great to be back playing again."