The Chiefs play their final Super 14 pre-season rugby game against the Hurricanes today in Gisborne with their All Black halfback Brendon Leonard making his return after 8 months out with a knee injury.
Leonard's last game time was in last season's Super 14, missing the entire All Blacks season as well as the provincial competition with Waikato.
The 23-year-old admits he did become a bit despondent after needing surgery on his knee a second time.
Now back training for the last month, Leonard says he's just grateful his knee feels fine and he's not looking as far ahead as getting back into the All Blacks.
The Chiefs coach Ian Foster says Leonard will only play 20 minutes
The Chiefs open their season in Christchurch against the champion Crusaders on Valentines day.