Wallabies and Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell has resigned himself to missing the Waratahs Super Rugby opening round match against the Reds and has admitted that he is enduring the toughest spell of his career.
The Waratahs depth on the wing is being severely tested and the season has not even begun as Lachie Turner is out for most of the season and Atieli Pakalani is struggling with a shoulder injury.
Mitchell's fitness is becoming crucial for the Waratahs but he says he is doubtful for next week's Super rugby opener.
Mitchell missed much of last season after landing awkwardly playing against the Reds but fought his way back to fitness and made the Rugby World Cup where he suffered a tournament-ending ankle injury against Russia.
Mitchell went under the knife in December to have a bone spur removed but now a torn tendon has delayed his comeback.
"I guess I know my body pretty well and I'm at the point now I'm resigned to the fact I won't be playing in that game," Mitchell told AAP while waiting for the results of his latest scan.
Twenty-seven-year-old Mitchell admitted that the last nine months has been tough as he has been forced to train on his own with motivation sometimes being an issue.
"It is tough, but I'm certainly not the first guy to be tested in this way," Mitchell said.
"But certainly when you feel like you're going to be back at a certain point and you have another setback and you feel like you're going to be back from that and then you have another, it tests you and throws you around a bit.
"You know there's always selection things that you worry about and you get a bit of anxiety about.
"But I guess with the injury you are getting anxiety about when you are going to be back, if you are going to be back.
"When you get back, are you going to be back to where you were prior to that? Also, when you get back, how are selections going to go? So that comes into it as well.
"So definitely it would be the toughest thing I've had to go through with my career."
Meanwhile the Waratahs could sign up former Brumbies captain and No.8 Stephen Hoiles after he left the Brumbies last season and has been training with the Waratahs.
Hoiles is said to be recovering well from an Achilles injury and has expressed his desire to play Super Rugby this year.
"The reason we have him there is definitely that's a possibility," Foley said.
"There would need to be some injuries and let's hope that doesn't happen but there is a possibility."