James Forrest was grateful that Scotland boss Steve Clarke kept him in the loop during his lengthy absence.
Hearing from Clarke inspired the Celtic winger to keep going with his rehab following ankle surgery.
Now Forrest hopes the efforts to return will be rewarded with a place in the Scotland squad for the European Championship finals.
The 29-year-old spent almost six months on the sidelines before returning in early March and had only made two brief substitute appearances before Scotland began their World Cup qualifying campaign without him.
But Clarke made sure to keep Forrest feeling part of the group as Scotland set up their first appearance at a major finals since 1998.
“Obviously right at the start, I missed the first couple of camps and he has been very good that way,” Forrest said. “Since he came in I had been involved in every squad so it was good he made me still feel a part of it.
“That is so good when you are injured, you can easily be forgotten about.
“That helps you work hard to try and come back and be in amongst the squad.”
Forrest played a major role in Scotland’s qualification, hitting five goals in the Nations League success that set up their play-off campaign, which he missed.
Now he has one more club game as Celtic face Hibernian on Saturday before the squad is selected.
“I have been feeling good in training over the last couple of months and been back playing the games and started the last couple of games as well,” Forrest said.
“I have just been enjoying being back adding to my fitness in training and getting more game time as well, which always helps
“I am just looking forward to the last league game and I will take it from there.”