All Black pivot Dan Carter is set to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle during his six-month sabbatical from rugby.
Carter's 100th Test appearance was curtailed by a problematic Achilles tendon, but New Zealand doctor Tony Page confirmed it would not require an operation to correct.
The record-breaking 31-year-old has been plagued by injury throughout 2013, missing large parts of the Rugby Championship.
"Dan's Achilles tendon has developed some wear and tear but it won't require surgery which is good news," Page told the Rugby Heaven website.
"However, separately from that, Dan has some bone spurs in the same ankle which need to be removed so he will have an operation for that. This is similar to what he had done a few years ago."
The sabbatical period means Carter has plenty time to recover, and will be available for the All Blacks following the conclusion of their June Test series against England.
The centurion's Super Rugby franchise, the Crusaders, have ample cover for the veteran, with Tom Taylor, Colin Slade and Tyler Bleyendaal all on their books.
Indeed, the time away from the game could aid the fly-half's recovery.
"Once he has recovered from the bone spur operation, he will have a period of rest followed by gradual loading of the Achilles and calf to allow it to recover and repair ahead of his return to rugby," added Page.