London Irish's star-full back Delon Armitage won't be taking part in the up coming Heineken Cup games, and that's fine with him.
Armitage is thinking of the long game, and refusing to rush back to the field of play after sustaining a shoulder injury in his side's Guinness Premiership win over Gloucester two weeks ago.
"I would rather miss three to five months than end my career at 26," Armitage said yesterday at the launch of the fifteenth Heineken Cup.
Armitage is hoping to return in time for his club's third Heineken Cup pool six match with Brive in mid-December.
That means he will sit out the November internationals and will be forced to to fight for a place in Martin Johnson's RBS Six Nations squad.
The extended spell on the sidelines is because Armitage's injury proved more complex than initially suspected; rather than a keyhole operation. The player had full-blown surgery and the whole joint was cleaned out.
Armitage summed up his feelings by saying: "Watching the others playing well will make me want to work even harder," he said. "I have to stay positive and come back bigger, faster, stronger."