A brain cyst has ended the sporting ambitions of former Warriors and Kiwis winger Manu Vatuvei, as he attempted to ignite a career as a professional boxer.
Vatuvei, 33, hasn't played rugby league since the end of 2017, after leaving the Warriors for UK Super League side, Salford Red Devils.
A severe Achilles injury saw Vatuvei released from Salford, before the Warriors' leading try scorer returned to New Zealand.
In December last year, Vatuvei swapped the field for the boxing ring, scoring an emphatic knockout victory over Dave 'The Brown Buttabean' Letele. The success of his debut saw Vatuvei eager to pursue a fighting career.
However, speaking to the NRL's official website, Vatuvei revealed the discovery of a brain cyst in the medical checks before his first bout have ended his boxing career before it really began.
"I've got a cyst in my brain, so that's been tough," Vatuvei said.
"[There were] no symptoms, no nothing ... everyone had to do a [brain] scan before the fight and they found it then and tried to rule me out of the fight, but I went on with it and came out good.
"I had some fights lined up which were cancelled because of that."
Vatuvei also opened up on facing his mental demons post-rugby league, unable to bring himself to even watch games since his UK exit.
"I haven't really announced my retirement or anything because I'm still in denial that I can still play."
"It's always been tough, I never watched a game when I came back from England, I never watched a game and I never went to a game or anything.
"That's something I'm still trying to heal from."