Cape Town - Munster centre Jaco Taute says he can't wait to make his return to competitive action after a lengthy layoff with a serious knee injury.
The South African hasn't played since sustaining the injury against Cardiff last September and is relishing the prospect of making his return in Friday evening's trip to Glasgow.
“It has been a long time and I’m not going to lie, it’s been difficult to come back from a serious injury. Luckily, I’ve been there before and I know what to expect and how to deal with the process. It’s been a long year but I’m fully fit,” Taute told the Irish Times.
The three-times capped Springbok proved to be a terrific signing after joining in September 2016 as injury cover for Francis Saili, racking up 26 appearances in an impressive season that saw him named in the 2016-17 PRO14 dream team.
However, most of the following season (last season) was spent studying financial management and rehabbing in the gym, and Taute is looking forward to playing rugby again.
"It’s great to be back and playing rugby and not just rehabilitating in the gym because that gets lonely," he said.
"They keep you very busy when you are rehabilitating. You are here [in the High Performance Centre at UL] five days a week and they make sure you are on track, but in my spare time I did manage to study and that went well.”
Taute admits that although it can be quite a lonely journey, he did have his centre partner Chris Farrell to keep him company in the treatment room and vice versa for the past six months.
"Unfortunately, he got injured when he was playing really well for Ireland so it was tough for him as well, but it’s better in a situation like that that you can spend time together, vent with each other, work hard in the gym together and just talk sometimes – that helps.
"Hopefully for him I was a big help while I was still injured and he’s also on track with his rehab. He also did his ACL, he’s also done that before, so he’s in good spirits because he knows what to do. He a big professional, big strong boy so he’ll also get through it," said Taute.
Meanwhile, Taute is expecting a feisty encounter against Glasgow at Scotstoun on Friday evening if the sides' recent meetings are anything to go by.
"I think it is always a special occasion when these two teams play each other," said the former Lions centre.
"They are a very good team and they’ve showed that in the way they played and the results they’ve achieved, so it will be tough.
"What impressed me at the weekend was they were nine points down, had a yellow card, and still managed to get the win. That’s the sign of a good team.
"They are a very good team – they have been performing. They went to the semi-final last year, they’ve been contending in Europe, so it’s going to be a tough occasion for us but something we look forward to."
Taute has three Test caps for the Springboks.