Cape Town - All Black Sam Cane's extended stay in South Africa has come to an end as the star flank was medically given the green light to fly home.
Cane broke a vertebra in his neck in the Test against the Springboks in Pretoria on October 6 and was forced to undergo an emergency operation, preventing him from joining his team-mates back to New Zealand.
The All Blacks clinched the clash at Loftus Versfeld 32-20, staging a remarkable comeback from 30-13 down with just 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
Cane heaped praise on the "people of South Africa" for the support he received in the country during his recovery.
The 26-year-old, who has played 60 Tests for the All Blacks, took to Instagram on Sunday to once again express his thanks as he prepared to board a flight from OR Tambo Airport, along with his fiancée, Harriet Allen.
Cane faces several months on the sidelines as he rehabilitates and was predictably omitted from the All Blacks' end of year squads named on Monday.
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My extended stay in South Africa has come to an end & I’m finally on my way home! The care and support I’ve received from the people of South Africa has been amazing and much appreciated. Thank you.???? I’ve also been very lucky to have these two lovely nurses looking after me.???????????? Looking forward to getting home!??