The 28-year-old has been put through a demanding period of rehabilitation ahead of his comeback and he is simply looking forward to being back in a game environment.
"It's been a long time coming and I'm really very happy to be back," he said.
"It's been the longest 11 months of my career with a lot of ups-and-downs so I'm just happy to be back and I'm looking forward to the game.
"I've just loved being outside to be honest. I've been in the gym lifting weights, boxing and cycling so it's great to be out in the sunshine running around playing rugby. I'm a rugby player so it's not much fun being in the gym after a while.
"I'm finding it pretty tiring obviously having been out for so long but I've tried to keep my fitness as high as possible whilst I was injured so that will hopefully benefit me. But it's going to take me a while to get back up to speed but I've got to start somewhere and Italy is a great place to begin."
"It [the knee] feels 100% and I can't feel it at all when I'm running so all the doctors and physio's who have helped me have done a great job.
"Sean has been very patient and kept me in the loop so I'm really grateful for this opportunity to repay the faith everyone has had in me."