Leicester Tigers lock Ed Slater says his quicker-than-expected return from knee surgery was partly driven by a desire to prove people wrong.
The Tigers captain, 26, was expected to miss the entire season after being injured playing for England last summer.
But he played in the win over Wasps last weekend and could be involved on Saturday when Leicester seek to secure a Premiership play-off place by beating local rivals Northampton.
"I was completely focused about getting on the pitch again this season," Slater told BBC East Midlands Today. "It's been a long, long slog but I have had a lot of help."