The Hurricanes and All Black hooker Dane Coles admits he contemplated retiring from rugby during his recovery from concussion.
Coles has spent the past four months recovering from mysterious concussion symptoms - the cause still unknown.
The 30-year-old has missed most of the Super Rugby season and the recent British and Irish Lions tour, but will make his return to rugby from the bench in Friday night's quarter final match against the Brumbies in Canberra.
Coles admitted that the layoff took him to a dark place mentally.
"It wasn't until I saw a sports psychologist at the concussion clinic I got referred to to put some structure in my life and the way I was thinking because it was quite negative, not in a bad way, just this might be it (retirement)," Coles said.
Meanwhile former Wallaby back Christian Lealiifano will make his Super Rugby return for the Brumbies against the Hurricanes less than a year after being diagnosed with leukemia.