Warren Whiteley says he dreads to even think about his injury-enforced absence from the Super Rugby playoffs.
According to The Star newspaper, Whiteley will look to help out as much as possible in an off-field capacity, but will have to watch from the sidelines as the Lions look to progress to a second successive final.
Whiteley will miss all the knockout rounds due to a ligament injury in his pelvis, and said it was very tough to miss out on the business end of the competition.
'I dread even thinking about it,' he told The Star. 'I try not to think about it. It’s very difficult [missing out], it’s tough. Being involved with this team at this stage of the competition and considering what is on the line in the coming weeks, is everything I dreamed of.
'I’ll try and stay as involved as I can with the team, but with all my physio, rehabilitation, getting into the oxygen chamber and so on it’s not like I have a lot of time on my hands.'
Whiteley is sure to be one of the Lions' biggest supporters from the sidelines, while he hopes to recover in time to be available for the Springboks' Rugby Championship opener on 19 August.
'As hard as it is for me, this is not about me … it’s about the Lions, the team, the union. The guys have got to this point and they now need to go on and win it,' he commented.
'I’m just really so grateful and fortunate to have played a small part in it, this journey we have been on over the last few years. It’s been a privilege and an honour to be part of this team; that’s what’s important.'
Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images