Cape Town - Ex-All Black flank Adam Thomson has been unable to walk after being struck down by a mystery illness in Japan.
According to the Stuff website, Thomson, 35, has been in hospital in Tokyo for over a week with doctors struggling to identify the problem that has given Thomson "excruciating pain".
The 29-Test All Black was rushed to the A&E department in the middle of the night.
Thomson's partner, Jessie Gurunathan, said there was still no official diagnosis, but Thomson's illness was suspected to be "a severe infection that's caused serious internal inflammation & excruciating pain".
Thomson mustered enough humour over the situation in a post on his Instagram account to write: "It was touch and go for awhile (sic) and we almost had to amputate but to the credit of this crack Japanese medical team they were able to save the moustache".
He added: "... it's been a tough week full of unexpected challenges. It's going to be a long road to get back on my feet but I'm up for it".
Thomson played almost a century of Super Rugby matches for the Highlanders, Reds and Rebels and first played in Tokyo in 2013.
Gurunathan said the illness gave her the "biggest fright in the 6 years we've been doing life together."
It was touch and go for awhile there and we almost had to amputate but to the credit of this crack Japanese medical team they were able to save the moustache. ?? ??????? But in all seriousness it's been a tough week full of unexpected challenges. It's going to be a long road to get back on my feet but I'm up for it. I'm overwhelmed by all the love and support from friends and family all over the planet, words can't express what it means, I didn't expect such a big response. I'm humbled and my thanks and love go back to you all! ??????? Here's a little Xmas cheer from my hospital bed in Tokyo, give all your loved ones an extra big hug this year, don't take anything for granted! Merry Christmas x ????????
Christmas this year so far has been mostly spent in hospital with the BFG giving me the biggest fright in the 6 years we've been doing life together. A few nights ago I had to rush him to A&E in the middle of the night & it's been one hell of an ordeal. But day three and things are finally looking up ???? There is still no official diagnosis(they suspect it's been a severe infection thats caused serious internal inflamation & excruciating pain) but I'm just so grateful to see him slowly start getting back to his old self (when he starts taking the piss, winding me up and being a menace it's a good sign!) & getting that famous Thomo sense of humour back. Fingers crossed tomorrow he can actually sit up and maybe even walk ??I'd love to have him home for Christmas day so that's the goal we are working towards atm ???? What was meant to be a holiday visit for my bro @ra_guru to spend Christmas with us has turned into THE biggest godsend right now. When Adam and I are so far from home and our family & friends at a time like this it's been especially hard so having our favourite third wheel here has been amazing. @ra_guru I'm sorry it's not quite been the holiday you were expecting but thank you for making us smile and bringing some much needed laughter back into our lives. I'm definitely counting my blessings right now and am so thankful for the people that matter the most in my life. Thank you to everyone who has sent us well wishes and reached out, it's not gone unnoticed ??