Cory Jane emerged with his crutches held skyward.
"How are we all doing?" he called out to the 20-strong media throng, before negotiating his way down the steps from the Hurricanes' team room.
The knee brace on Jane's right leg squeaks with every hop because he took his kids to the beach last week and got sand in the joints.
It is unclear if that is why he's smiling as he fronts the cameras two weeks after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee.
More likely it's because he possesses a quality not all sportsmen can boast - perspective.
The Hurricanes wing's season is over before it began after he "folded" over his right knee during an innocuous training drill on a summer-hardened Paraparaumu Domain.
His recollection sounded like a sporting horror show.
"I went to get a pass from the halfback, I went to step and the leg slipped a little bit," he said.
"I had to do the splits and one of the boys tapped me from the other side and I just folded over. I knew straight away something was bad. It felt like my knee was hanging out the side of my leg."
But in Jane's world there is no self-pity or moping.
"I've got a baby due in the next few weeks so that'll take my mind off the rugby, so there's a few positives too.
"I'm trying not to do much and stay down and keep icing it but the wife [Amie] is due. She looks like she's got triplets actually, so she's quite big and we've got three crazy kids running around.
"The house is bloody full-on. I'm trying to rest, but then I feel bad for her because she is knackered, so it's a bit hectic at the moment."
Super Rugby and the All Blacks will be poorer without Jane, but if humour is an effective medicine, he'll be back as good as new.
"I'll miss a bit of rugby, but at the moment I don't mind too much because it's pre-season rugby and nobody likes playing pre-season games," he said.
"Once the season starts it might get a bit hard. I think I'll just take over as head coach. I've told Hammer [Mark Hammett], since I'm injured I'll come over and run the sessions and he can just step to the side."
More seriously, Jane suggests his goal will be to play "some form" of rugby this season, but the reality is more likely a fresh start in 2014.
His specialist has told him the success of the recovery will be better if his surgery is performed after swelling has subsided.
So for now he must wait.
The unanswered question is what effect his injury will have on his 30-year-old body?
Jane doesn't know either, but takes heart from the fact so many other players have successfully come back from ACL surgery.
"It's like buying a new car. You look at a new car and think 'geez, no-one's got one', but then you get it and everyone's driving the darn thing," he said.
"There's a couple of boys in the team [Hurricanes] who have had it done. Quade Cooper has had it done, Will Genia is doing it as well. So there are quite a few people who have done it."
Once he's had the surgery, Jane will face months of appointments and rehabilitation. He'll get to know Hurricanes head physio Cam Shaw better than anyone, but Jane is adamant he'll play his part in his team's campaign.
"Whatever they need me [to do] I'll come in and do. I won't be running around, but there are young guys in the outside backs and if I can teach them a few things and keep sharing my knowledge ... because I'll be watching a fair bit, then I'll do that.
"I don't really want to, since I'm injured, just bugger off and not come back. I want to come in and do a bit with them and hopefully they keep winning and keep my morale up so I can come back and play again."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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