Tim Brown's shoulder surgery has been described as a success, helping to keep his World Cup dream alive.
The New Zealand vice-captain feared he would be forced to sit out this summer's showpiece in South Africa after picking up a knock.
He fractured his right shoulder during Monday's 2-1 friendly defeat to Australia in Melbourne.
Brown was then left at home when the rest of the New Zealand squad set off for their pre-tournament training base in Austria.
He was rushed onto the operating table as soon as possible, with experts suggesting his chances of making the finals were just 50-50 at that stage.
However, medics are now optimistic regarding his possible participation, with the surgery having passed without a hitch.
"It is still too early to comment on his chances of being available for the World Cup at this stage," said Stu Walsh, the surgeon who carried out the procedure.
"That will depend on how quickly he heals and how well he progresses through rehabilitation. The usual recovery time for this type of injury is three to six weeks, depending on the individual, and it can occasionally be much longer.
"However, Tim is a strong and fit athlete, who is very motivated and looks after himself well, which will benefit his recovery.
"We are therefore optimistic about the prognosis."
Brown will be desperate to return to the fold, as New Zealand are gracing a World Cup finals for only the second time.
Their first outing came in Spain back in 1982 and national coach Ricki Herbert admits everyone connected with the team cannot wait for the main event to start.
"Psychologically we're really in that World Cup mode now," he said.
"We've got teams like England and Japan preparing [in Austria] so there's a real sense that we're back on the world stage again."