All Blacks utility back Damian McKenzie has begun rehabilitation on his knee after suffering a season-ending injury last month, ruling him out of the Rugby World Cup.
"Surgery all done," the Chiefs and All Blacks star posted on Instagram yesterday.
"A bit of a different challenge to overcome this year rather than the one I was hoping for. Looking forward to accomplishing little goals day by day and coming back even better next year. A big thanks to everyone for their kind messages of support through this time. Rehab life... Let's get it"
McKenzie ruptured the ACL in his right knee in last month's Super Rugby clash with the Blues - leaving on on the sidelines for between six to nine months.
"His World Cup opportunity's gone but he's still young enough to make probably the next two. It's just important he gets his knee right and takes the time to be able to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said last month.
"It's sad for him obviously. It creates another opportunity for someone else. We've got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him I'd say."
He suffered the injury early in the second half on the Chiefs game against the Blues when attempting a tackle on first-five Otere Black, and looked to be favouring his right knee when hobbling off.
He walked from the field with the help of a Chiefs medic but appeared in pain, and went on to have an MRI scan to determine the extent of the injury.
The injury is a blow for the All Blacks, with McKenzie having developed into a fine utility player for Hansen's side, capable of covering at fullback and first-five eighth, and often providing a serious spark and X-Factor when brought off the bench.