Jonny Brownlee admits he no longer feels invincible but is already eyeing a fourth Olympic medal.
The Olympic mixed-relay champion has returned from a broken elbow and fractured wrist and will compete at the Super League Triathlon in London on Sunday.
He crashed on his bike at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Leeds in June which forced him to miss the Commonwealth Games.
A rusty 16th place at the World Triathlon Cup in Bergen last week marked his comeback and Brownlee knows he is not indestructible.
He said: “I’ve learned that in the last few years. One of the proudest moments of my career was between June 2010 and May 2014, I was on the podium in every race I did. It was 43 podiums with London 2012 in the middle.
“At that point you feel you’re invincible, you turn up and get a podium. A few years of not being able to get anywhere near teaches you that’s not really the case.
“You should value them and every time you have a good race you should celebrate it. It taught me a lot of lessons.
“Coming off this bang I’ve learned a lot. You realise sport can be quite dangerous and, because I couldn’t train or race, not to take it for granted.
“One minute you’re fine, one minute you’re in hospital.”
Brownlee won individual bronze and silver at London 2012 and Rio 2016 respectively, with brother Alistair winning double gold, before last year’s relay triumph in Tokyo.
The Paris Olympics are less than two years away and Brownlee wants to make it to France on one condition.
“I want to be in Paris if I can be a medal contender in the relay and individual. I only want to go there if I can genuinely win a medal,” said the 32-year-old.
“I don’t want to go there to make up the numbers and get the kit again. It’s a lot more attractive as it’s only 12 months since Tokyo.
“I thought it would be my last Olympics, it was literally the results sheet at the end which said I had the fastest leg and fastest run which made me think ‘I can come back and do this again’.”