Whenever the question is about solving a problem in one’s private life, the right answer is never, ever to make a rash decision to return to a career in professional sport.

Yet it seems that no one has advised Stuart Hogg that the best solution to his considerable personal challenges is probably not returning to his past life as a professional rugby player.

On the rugby pitch, Hogg is a generational talent.

One of the greatest players Scotland has ever produced, he amassed 100 Scotland caps, is this country’s all-time leading try-scorer, became a British Lion and has European and English Premiership titles to his name.

His retirement last summer, at the age of just 31 and a mere two months before the start of the 2023 World Cup, came as a shock to everyone, with the fullback citing physical issues as to the reason why he was hanging up his boots.

At the time, rumours circled that there was perhaps more to his decision to retire so abruptly than his publicised reasons but who were any of us to suggest that Hogg’s own explanation was anything other than the complete truth?

After his retirement, however, Hogg’s life went into a tailspin.

He went from being revered universally by sporting journalists and fans alike for his exploits on the rugby pitch to being seen in a significantly different manner, with the coverage of him being on the front pages of newspapers rather than the sports section.

The first dose of criticism that came Hogg’s way was as a result of him “flaunting”, to use tabloid jargon, his new girlfriend on social media just days after his estranged wife, Gillian, had given birth to the pair’s fourth child.

This was just the start of things, however.

Last month, Hogg appeared at Jedburgh sheriff court denying having stalked and abused his former wife for more than seven years.

Hogg pleaded not guilty to acting in an abusive manner, to having caused alarm and fear during a disturbance earlier this year and failing to comply with an undertaking following his release from police custody.

Hogg was released on bail on the condition that he would not contact his estranged wife, and a trial date was set for this July.

In addition to these charges, Hogg revealed in April that he’d undergone a stint in rehab which, he said, helped him “reset”.

“I was lost, needed help, direction, time away from the spotlight to be able to take a deep breath and think,” he added.

Since retirement, Hogg has been working regularly as a pundit for TNT Sports but his myriad of personal issues was a constant shadow over the former Glasgow Warriors man.

It was clear that Hogg needed to find a way out of the hole he was digging for himself in his personal life but no one predicted the solution he was about to come up with.

This week, it was widely reported that Hogg will sign for French side, Montpellier, bringing to an end his 11-month "retirement".

It’s a move that’s come entirely out of the blue, particularly as Montpellier is a team in grave danger of being relegated from the Top 14 league. Their fate will be decided later this month when they face a play-off but regardless, they’re keen to sign Hogg as a “medical joker” to replace Anthony Bouthier, who suffered an ACL knee injury and isn’t expected to return to action for some time.

There are several risks to Hogg’s decision to return to professional rugby.

First is whether or not his body is up to the beating top-level rugby players endure week in, week out.

And second of all, whether or not he’s up to the mental strain that comes with playing top-level sport.

It’s pretty clear that Hogg’s life was not playing out in the way he wanted it to following his retirement.

In his post-rehab statement, he spoke about his “darkest times”, saying: “Spending time at a rehabilitation centre allowed me to reset, learn about myself and talk about how I felt, without being judged.

"It's not been easy but it was the right thing to do. Taking accountability was the first step in the right direction. I accept I have made mistakes and understand why l acted as I did.”

He was, clearly, searching for a version of himself that he liked better than this current one.

The thing I remain unconvinced about is that returning to rugby is the best thing for Hogg’s future and is a route to him healing whatever needs healed.

Yes, professional sport fills a void in a way that nothing else can.

For Hogg in particular, replacing those feelings he experienced as a player must have been impossible, particularly given the esteem in which he was held. Indeed, the BBC website ran an article about the Hawick man entitled “How Stuart Hogg became Scotland's first rugby rock star”.

And certainly, Hogg was not the first and will not be the last athlete to struggle with coming to terms with retirement.

It’s surely no coincidence that most of his major personal issues have come after he hung up his boots.

But of all the cases of athletes who are in trouble, a miniscule number solved their problems by returning to professional sport.

It may, admittedly, be an effective short-term solution. A return to rugby will give Hogg a focus that is generally not required in “normal” life. But he cannot play rugby forever and whatever issues have been at the root of his problems will still be there when he retires once again.

I wish Hogg well in this comeback. But I cannot shake the feeling that using rugby to solve his problems is unequivocally not the best route to take.