Sonny Bill Williams is recovering from surgery in Sydney and his Japanese rugby club expect the boxing code-hopper back for the last part of the Top League season.
The Former All Black underwent an operation on Wednesday on a chest injury picked up attempting a tackle for his club Panasonic in their win over Kintetsu Liners last weekend.
The injury had the potential to jeopardise his return to the Wild Knights, with five games remaining in their season, but the club is confident the centre will return in time for the resumption of the competition on December the 1st.
With Japanese rugby on a five-week break, Williams initially flew to Sydney to prepare for a heavyweight boxing bout with South African veteran Francois Botha on November 24th in Brisbane.
But it was rumoured that the dual international was also poised to formally sign a contract to return to rugby league with the Sydney Roosters.
Instead, Williams went straight to the NRL club's headquarters at Moore Park to undergo scans on an injury that could threaten or at least delay his high-profile switch back to the code after walking out on the Bulldogs in 2008.
His fight against 44-year-old Botha has been delayed until next February.
Japan's Top League will complete its 13-round season with the final playoffs set for late January.
Williams quit the world champion All Blacks and Super Rugby champion the Chiefs in August to play 12 matches for Panasonic worth a reported $1.45 million.