THE 2013 Super Rugby season kicks off this weekend but for Dubbo's Beau Robinson, the first month will be spent in rehab as he endeavours to overcome a right ankle injury.
After spending the latter part of his 2012 campaign in a moonboat and after recovering from post-season surgery, the Queensland Reds breakaway re-injured the joint after being bowled over by pet dogs at his parents' property in December.
It's a poor result for Robinson, who in 2011 rode the crest of a wave as the Reds won the Super Rugby title and he made his debut for the Wallabies.
And with a British and Irish tour happening later this year the 26-year-old is itching to get back on the field.
"It's been a bit of a bad trot with the surgery and now this but I'm not kicking cans," he said.
"I just need to do the rehab and physio, get it right and hopefully I'll be back on the field within the next month.
"You don't really realise until you injure an ankle just how much you rely on it. Every time you walk or run so much pressure goes through it so I have to make sure I get it right before I come back
"With the Lions touring this year everyone in Australian rugby will be itching to get themselves noticed and I'll be a month behind but when I do get out there I'll be ready to rip in."
The Reds start their 2013 campaign on Saturday when they travel to the nation's capital to take on the ACT Brumbies.
Robinson's omission is a blow for the Reds, who will come up against a forward pack bolstered by the inclusion of Wallabies skipper David Pocock.
"They're a tough side to beat, especially down there and I think they will be pumped for a big game first up against us," Robinson said.
"But I know that our boys, particularly the ones who didn't play international rugby at the end of last season, are ready to go because it has been a long off-season. Hopefully we can get back into the kind of form we were in in 2011.
"Last season was a bit disappointing but we know if we play our best rugby then it is good enough to beat most teams."