All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has thanked the "circumference and strength" of his neck for saving him from paralysis.
The 26-year-old fractured a bone in his neck during the All Blacks' 32-30 win over the Springboks in Pretoria on Sunday morning (NZ time).
Cane got his head in an awkward position into a breakdown, when he made contact with Francois Louw's hip.
He stayed on the ground for a few minutes, before getting up and walking off the field in some discomfort.
The 60-test international is expected to make a full recovery, after undergoing a successful operation in South Africa.
He took to Twitter to thank everyone for their support, but also revealed he was close to paralysis
"A few things to be thankful for," Cane said in his post. "Firstly, the circumference and strength of my neck, I may not be standing without it.
"Secondly, the world class medical support and surgical team I've had here in Pretoria, couldn't have asked for anything more.
"Thirdly, from all the support I've received from family, friends, NZRU, SAR and all the messages from around the world. Really appreciate the messages it means a lot.
"Please accept this as personal acknowledgement and thanks. Onwards and upwards."
Earlier, the All Blacks Twitter page had posted a photo of Cane after surgery, with a short message advising the operation was successful.
"Sam would like to thank everyone for all the support he has received from around the world, he is set to make a full recovery," the post said.
Cane will return to New Zealand in the coming days.