Brisbane Broncos and Queensland centre Meg Ward has undergone emergency neck surgery this week but still has the fire to return for the Broncos' NRLW campaign next season.
Ward had a disc replacement yesterday after feeling sudden pain at home on Sunday night.
The hard-running centre said the last 24 hours had all been a shock after first feeling the discomfort while lying on the lounge at home.
The pain continued yesterday and after her physio referred her on to a surgeon, the process sped up.
"I just got up off the couch on Sunday night and felt it and then had a lot of pain the next morning.
"I then went and saw the surgeon at 8am and he said: 'What have you eaten? I need to get you into surgery.'
"I was under the knife by 4pm so it all happened quickly."
Ward said she had slipped and ruptured a disc, thus requiring the replacement.
Despite the drama surrounding the surgery, Ward was in high spirits this morning.
That was hardly surprising – Ward underlined her toughness this year when she played in the NRLW Grand Final with a fracture in her hand.
And she said she was confident she would be back on the field next year to help the Broncos defend the NRLW premiership title they won in September.
"I'm good and feeling really well this morning and the surgeon said it all went okay," she said.
"At this stage they are not seeing any issues with playing next year.
"A lot of players have had this done and have gone back to play.
"The surgeon told me Gorden Tallis and Matt Rogers have had it done, so that was a positive for me."