Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot has put his season on hold due to a neck injury which left him struggling to walk.
Elliot's neck issue, which he has been playing with for several seasons, worsened in the New Zealand Maori match against Canada in Toronto at the start of last month.
Now recovering in Hawkes Bay after surgery a week ago in which a disc was removed and a bone graft taken from his hip, Elliot told LiveSport this morning that he had to give his rugby future some serious thought. He said the surgery had gone well and he would see a specialist in a couple of weeks.
"It's something that really I've been playing with for a couple of years,'' he said of the disc bulge. "Against Canada a couple of weeks back it got progressively worse throught the game... by the time I came off I couldn't walk properly.''
He added: "The boys throught I had been concussed my legs were so wobbly.''
Elliot, 27, said he felt fortunate he still had the use of his legs.
"I'm looking at sitting out most of Super Rugby if not all of Super Rugby and the ITM Cup,'' he said.
"I have to weigh up my options. It's been a bit scary over the last couple of weeks.
"I feel I'm incredibly lucky to still be walking.''
Elliot and Mahonri Schwalger have been sharing the hooking duties at the Chiefs for the past couple of seasons, with Rhys Marshall a back-up.