It is human nature to think the worst
Wallaby back Pat McCabe has been ruled out for the rest of the year, after sustaining a neck injury during last weekend's 21-23 loss to the British and Irish Lions in the first Test at Brisbane.
Specialists said he needed to properly rest to prevent it becoming career-threatening.
The 25-year-old first fractured his neck on last year's European tour and will need to wear a brace for at least six weeks to stabilise the reopened injury before further assessments are made.
"It's unfortunate that having completed the healing process from last year's injury, that it has happened again," Wallabies doctor Warren McDonald said in a statement.
"This does not mean that Pat will not be able to return to the playing field. He will again be able to feel comfortable taking contact.
"The fracture that has partially opened up is expected to repair itself and strengthen.
"The specialist advice is that a return is viable pending the full recovery and strengthening of the neck. Only time can do that, but we will be monitoring it closely throughout the healing process.
"There are a wide course of options open to Pat, which will be considered once the rehabilitation has been completed."
"There is certainly no way that Pat will be returning to the game without a thorough assessment process to ensure he can have full confidence in the bone that has fractured."
The Brumbies star has played 20 Tests and was philosophical about the setback, noting that it "could have been a lot worse".
"It was encouraging to hear the specialists being positive both about the recovery process but also the possibility that I could be able to return to the playing field," McCabe said.
"It is human nature to think the worst, but I'm in good hands medically.
"We'll see how the rehabilitation goes and take it from there. I'd obviously like to get back into it, but I'll be taking no chances with my health either.
"Hopefully things will go to plan, I'm pretty confident they will. I think I've got plenty of games left in me.
"For now, I'll be concentrating on getting the recovery right while supporting both the Wallabies and Brumbies as much as I can."