Cape Town - Injury has been a common theme of Marcell Coetzee's Springbok career, but the 28-year-old finally looked to have put those troubles behind them.
He started Saturday's Test match against Argentina at Loftus in the No 8 jersey and, given his pedigree and experience, looked a good bet to be included in coach Rassie Erasmus' 31-man squad for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
A knock to the head, however, saw him leave the field early and it has since been revealed that he also suffered a serious ankle injury that will require surgery.
His World Cup dream, as was the case when he suffered one of a series of knee injuries back in 2015, is over.
Speaking to Netwerk24, the 30-Test Bok acknowledged his disappointment, but was trying his best to stay positive.
"The biggest challenge is to accept the reality that it is what it is and find the courage to climb back on the horse," he said.
"It would be disappointing for anyone but it is one of those things in life that you have no control over. Like everything else, time will heal the wounds."
Coetzee added that he had enjoyed his time with the Boks and that he felt "close" to making the squad, while he refused to rule out the possibility of still being around for the 2023 World Cup in France where he would be 32-years-old.
Erasmus, meanwhile, will name his World Cup squad on Monday at 15:00.