Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen says he is feeling positive after undergoing surgery on his neck in Durban on Wednesday.
Vermeulen, the South African Rugby Player of the Year in 2014, will take a few days off to recuperate before starting with his rehabilitation process, which will take about 10 weeks.
Ten weeks from Wednesday's operation would see Vermeulen's rehab end on September 16 - a mere two days before the Rugby World Cup starts.
The Boks start their campaign against Japan in Brighton on September 19.
“I’m feeling good and positive and can’t wait to start my rehabilitation,” said Vermeulen.
“All the staff at the hospital made things so easy for me and I would really like to thank them for their effort - I really was in great hands.”
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said the national side’s medical team will work tirelessly to get Vermeulen ready to be considered for Rugby World Cup selection.
“Duane is mentally very tough and he is a warrior who has always bled for his country and I’m expecting exactly the same attitude from him towards his rehabilitation,” said Meyer.
“He is a team player who has often played through the pain barrier and I know nothing will hold him back, while we will do everything we can to get Duane ready in time for the World Cup.”
Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts added: “The operation went well and we’re grateful to the medical personnel who looked after Duane. The road to recovery is a long one, but we’re confident that he can make it to the World Cup.”
Vermeulen, 29, will recuperate for a few days before joining the Springbok squad in Johannesburg upon their return from Brisbane next weekend.
Vermeulen also thanked fans on Twitter for their support (translated): "Than you very much all the unbelievable messages I appreciate it from my heart.The operation was a success. #10weeksrehab."