Hurricanes winger Nehe Milner-Skudder has had his slim chances of cracking the All Blacks' World Cup squad this year dashed after undergoing another sugery on his shoulder.
Milner-Skudder took to social media yesterday to give fans an update on his injury when he dropped the bad news about the required operation.
"There was plenty to work towards and look forward too on the Rugby to-do list but unfortunately due to ongoing issues with my shoulder from a prior surgery not going as well we'd hoped, it was the best decision to go under the knife again to get it sorted," he wrote on Instagram.
"I've been through 'a few' injuries but this has easily been the toughest one - both physically and mentally. However, I'm not ready to give up anytime soon, love a good challenge and have so much love and support around me.
"Obviously I'm gutted at how the start of the year has panned out but as the great MLK once said, 'the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy'."
After four years playing for Manawatu, the 28-year-old made his debut for the Hurricanes in 2015 were he had a standout rookie season, leading to an All Blacks selection later that year and booking him a trip to the World Cup.
Milner-Skudder was a standout for the All Blacks in their 2015 World Cup defence, going on to be named the Breakthrough Player of the Year at the World Rugby Awards for his performances and infamous "Skudder step".
But since then he has had a horrid run with injuries, limiting his time in the black jersey to 13 Tests since his 2015 debut. It's also robbed him of time with the Hurricanes, limiting him to 36 appearances in Super Rugby.
The latest setback means Milner-Skudder will at least miss the remainder of the Super Rugby competition, meaning his time as a Hurricane is officially over having signed with French club Toulon for next season.
His only hopes to wear the black jersey again would probably mean he'd need a quick recovery, impressive performances with Manawatu in the Mite 10 Cup and serious injuries to other regular All Blacks before the journey to Japan.
But even then, the All Blacks selectors may go with other breakthrough players with the likes of Sevu Reece and Braydon Ennor gaining bolter status for their play with the Crusaders this season.