It's been a long and arduous four months for All Blacks and Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles but finally, his road to recovery is nearly at an end.
Coles spoke to media today before flying out to Canberra with the Hurricanes for their Super Rugby quarter-final with the Brumbies.
The hooker admitting his concussion issues had brought him into a "dark place" emotionally and mentally.
"Yeah mate it was really hard, I love playing footy, it's my job and I couldn't really do it."
Coles, capped 49 times by his country, said speaking to a sports psychologist had been a defining factor in helping him return to the rugby field, saying they were able to "bring more structure into my life and the way I was thinking".
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd spoke to media after Coles' concussion issues began, saying the player couldn't remember sustaining any head injury after the Hurricanes match with the Highlanders earlier in the year.
Coles is set to make an appearance off the bench when the Hurricanes face the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday night for their Super Rugby quarter-final.