Brisbane Broncos halfback Kodi Nikorima has had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.
Nikorima, who had an injury-interrupted 2017 season, suffered abdominal pain while overseas on holiday.
He returned to Australia and had his appendix removed at the end of December. The Kiwi playmaker is expected to return to full training with the Broncos next week.
"It all of a sudden came on," he explained.
"I was enjoying a bit of down time with my partner in Thailand and on the last day I was getting a bit sick. I had no sympathy from her because she is a nurse and thought I was carrying on a bit.
"But four days later I was getting lower back pain and I had all the symptoms for appendicitis. I checked into hospital and I had it taken out."
Nikorima is looking forward to the new season at Red Hill.
The Broncos have signed Andre Savelio, Sam Tagataese, Jack Bird, Troy Dargan, Patrick Mago, Myles Taueli, Jake Turpin and Matt Lodge.
"It's a new year and I am sensing a bit of a good vibe around the place," he said.
"We have a new facility and a new-looking squad and a young squad - I am excited to see what they can bring."