Seán Maguire says it was "heartbreaking" to miss out most of the international year with Ireland in 2018.
But the 24-year-old insists he's now approaching peak form after a nightmare run with injury, Preston man Maguire benefiting from a weekly dose of yoga to get his body in peak shape for a crucial spell in the season with club and country.
Maguire played in just three of Ireland's games last year, and an injury picked up in pre-season caused him to miss the first three months of the season with his club.
He's now enjoying a good spell, free from injury, and his aim is to help Preston move into the play-offs while also working his way into the Ireland side under Mick McCarthy.
"It was heartbreaking to miss as much Ireland games as I did, it started before the play-offs for the World Cup, it seemed like any time I got somewhere I would break down again, it happened with the internationals in the summer," Maguire told The Herald.
"I was involved in the Ireland games in October and got a few minutes but I broke down again against Northern Ireland in November.
"You feel like you have turned a corner and then you feel like you have been shot in the foot again, so you have to try and stay strong mentally, I am surrounded by people who are positive and I got through it," added the former Cork City star.
"I spoke to a lot of people to find ways to help me over the injuries, I have done strength work and focused on strengthening the hamstring.
"This time around I have focused on yoga, for the last few months I have been doing it every week, 45 minutes a week, it's not helping me physically but it is helping mentally, in my head, I just have to keep up these things, managing myself and working with the strength and conditioning coach and physio, if my training load is too high I let them know and drop out and do my own work in the gym."
He says his persistent hamstring problems were simply bad luck.
"It wasn't the same hamstring muscle straining all the time, it was different muscles which is frustrating but it seems I am over it now and the last two or three months have been good, it seems like I am getting back to my best. I want to stay fit for the rest of the season, the goals and performances will take care of themselves.
"It's been tough but I am looking to finish the season strong and we have a real chance of making the play-offs this season.
"We're on a good run, unbeaten in a long time, if we'd had everyone fit all season I reckon we'd be in the top three, we still have a chance of the top six and that's what we are focused on."