Blue Bulls star loose forward Pierre Spies faces an anxious wait before he will know when he can return to the playing field.
Spies has been sidelined with pulmonary embolisms since July last year, and is due to see a specialist next week to find out when he is likely to return to action.
A brief statement from the Bulls confirmed that Spies was expected to see the specialist "before the end of January", but his appointment is only scheduled for next week.
The 22-year-old was originally part of the victorious Springbok World Cup squad last year, before he sustained the injury at a training camp in Durban.
The Springbok medical team referred Spies to two lung specialists, who confirmed the extent of the problem - and as a result the forward was withdrawn from the World Cup squad.
He has been undergoing treatment since August last year and the latest series of tests will determine when he can start taking contact again.
Spies made an inauspicious Test debut against the Wallabies in a Tri-Nations match in Brisbane in 2006, where the Boks lost 49-0.
He was dropped as a result - only to be recalled soon after following injuries to Juan Smith and Joe van Niekerk.
Spies then delivered three outstanding performances during the home leg of the Tri-Nations, winning the man of the match award in Rustenburg - where the Boks beat the All Blacks 21-20.
He followed that up with devastating performances in the Absa Currie Cup, helping the Bulls to surge through to yet another final.
He was widely praised for those performances, but was injured in a dismal Springbok showing against Ireland on the end-of-year tour which ruled him out of much of the 2007 Super 14 season.
However, he made a strong comeback for the Bulls in their 49-12 victory over the Stormers and earned a World Cup call-up - before the lung problems set in.