Cape Town - Lood de Jager has had a long road back to full fitness and he is enjoying every second with the Springboks this week.
A pectoral tear back in May ruined De Jager's chances of playing for the Boks when the Rassie Erasmus era began in June, while he also missed the recently-completed Rugby Championship.
He is part of a 20-man squad based in Stellenbosch this week, however, and he will be hoping to be named in Erasmus' squad for the end of year tour that will be named on Saturday.
De Jager said it was "awesome" to be back with the Boks.
"It's been a long time and longer than five months since I got injured. It's great to be back with the guys here," he said.
"We've been training really hard here is Stellenbosch. I'm really enjoying it and I've been feeling really grateful to be here and be part of it.
"It's been good prep. The guys are just so amped and ready to go."
While he was sidelined, De Jager was watching the developments of the Boks closely.
"It was great to see the guys displaying so much courage to fight back and win the first two Tests against England, and in the Rugby Champs they tried a few combinations, and it was fantastic to watch them against the All Blacks and beat the Wallabies," he said.
The 25-year-old has 36 Tests to his name.