For a few anxious moments in the Rebel Sport Super 14 Blues game with the Western Force at Eden Park, Troy Flavell thought all his worst nightmares had come true.
In the process of attempting to stop a Force movement he reached out to tackle a player and in the motion of being forced back he tore the pectoral tendon between his breast and shoulder.
It was a painful tear and Flavell thought his hopes of making this year's All Blacks squad were gone.
The initial diagnosis was not good either as he was told he would be out of action for three or four months.
That was in mid-April.
But six weeks later, he is in the All Blacks squad with the opportunity of pushing for his place in the greater scheme of things when the selectors name their side for the Tri-Nations in July.
"I thought [my goals for the season] had all come to an end and then I got the reports back from the doc and they said 'you are not going to be playing for a while.'
"They were talking three months, four months and that's not something you really want to hear when you've got a goal in mind," he said.
While rehabilitation has restored him to match play, the ultimate effect of his injury is that he will have to have surgery that will see him out of action for 10 weeks.
At the moment that is on the agenda for the end of the New Zealand season.
There is little doubt that Flavell lent much to the Blues side after his return and his absence in their South African campaign was a blow.
"I was really starting to enjoy my rugby to be honest and the guys were on a good roll then, that was our fourth win [Western Force] on the trot.
"Next week is going to be the big test I suppose in more ways than one.
"I wanted to make myself available for this campaign for selection, I didn't want to have myself out of the picture.
"The World Cup was at the back of my mind, but initially I had to be here for my development," he said.
Five years off the international scene during which he had a stint in Japanese rugby, Flavell has found a more professional environment about rugby in New Zealand and that probably contributed to his being able to get back into action so soon after his injury.
"Japan was about reconditioning. My aerobic fitness went through the roof up there.
"You just don't get the bumps and bruises that you get when you play this sort of rugby. Your recovery time is a lot quicker and you are bouncing back," he said.
He played club rugby for Ponsonby on Saturday and learned of his selection for the All Blacks on the radio.
It made all the frustration and rehabilitation worth it, but he sees it as only a partial step towards where he wants to be in his game.