Israel Folau admits he's still only a 50-50 prospect of returning for the Waratahs next weekend despite flying out for South Africa on Saturday.
After dieting largely on ice the past week, Folau is recovering well from a nasty knock to the throat and was given the all-clear to travel to the republic and resume training with teammates.
But with some cracked cartilage and a swollen throat, the tryscoring ace was forced to miss yesterday morning's defeat to the table-topping Sharks in Durban and said he wouldn't risk rushing back against the Stormers next Sunday in Cape Town.
"I'm still a 50-50 chance," he said. "I'll make a call as the week goes on, depending how the throat feels. I won't go into any game worried about the throat."
The fullback could barely speak after copping a stray elbow in the Waratahs' win over the Melbourne Rebels.
He hasn't trained or taken any medication to enhance recovery, relying instead on natural healing.
"I have just been eating a lot of ice cubes to try and get the swelling down. It's helped a lot," Folau said.
"The voice is coming good so it's a good sign. My airways are pretty clear so it feels pretty good."
Folau has scored eight tries in four games this campaign at an amazing strike rate, but modestly played down talk the Waratahs were a one-man band and would struggle without him.
"It's a team performance and I've been lucky enough to just be in the right place at the right time."