NZ Warriors half Chanel Harris-Tavita didn't take long to realise he had suffered no ordinary injury during the ill-fated clash with Melbourne Storm on Anzac Day.
Five minutes before halftime at AAMI Park, teammate Josh Curran's knee slammed into Harris-Tavita's groin, crumpling him to the ground.
After taking a couple of minutes to regather himself, the No.6 rejoined the defensive line, awaiting the infamous and unique kind of anguish that accompanies such a blow to subside.
Except, it never did.
"Like most guys, I've been hit in the privates before and we sort of know what it feels like," Harris-Tavita said. "Usually, when you get hit, it lasts for about two minutes and then the pain starts going away.
"But that pain that you feel initially after the whack, that sort of stayed for the whole game.
"I knew something was wrong just after halftime, when I was trying to run and I could feel it… something was wrong down there and the pain hadn't gone away."
With the contest evenly poised at 16-10, Harris-Tavita refused to leave the field and somehow mustered the fortitude to battle through the remaining 45 minutes of the game, which ultimately ended in a record-breaking 70-10 defeat.
Scans immediately following the game revealed a diagnosis to make any male wince - a ruptured testicle.
"Worst [pain] I've ever had, by far," Harris-Tavita recalled. "I'm lucky I had teammates around me that were talking to me, because I couldn't really talk.
"All I could really think about was my injury, but I just wanted to push through.
"I definitely knew something was wrong at the end of the game. The doctor took me straight into the ultrasound and the whole thing was bruised - that's when I knew something was wrong."
Harris-Tavita underwent surgery the following week, ruling him out of action for the next two games - the win over Canberra Raiders and last week's disappointing loss to undermanned Cronulla Sharks.
But the 23-year-old insists the pain has gradually faded away and he's been slowly ramping up activity levels, with an aim to return to the field against Newcastle Knights in fortnight.
Understandably, Harris-Tavita will take as many preventative measures as possible when he eventually returns.
He'll use Wednesday's training session as a trial run wearing a cricket box as protection for his susceptible scrotum. Depending how that goes, he'll don one for at least the early stages of his comeback.
"I'll see how I go today," he said. "If it feels comfortable, I think it's likely that I'll play the first couple of games back with it.
"I'd much rather feel a bit of discomfort running around than extreme discomfort, if someone was to accidentally kick the ball or hit me in the same spot."
Mid-season recruit Daejarn Asi will continue to start in Harris-Tavita's absence, when the Warriors attempt to get back on winning track against South Sydney Rabbitohs during this weekend's NRL 'Magic Round'.
Off contract at the end of this season, Harris-Tavita is still in discussions with his agent regarding his future, but hopes to have a decision soon.
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