Francois Steyn must play through the pain barrier if he is to take part in the Sharks' derby against the Stormers this weekend.
The two sides face off on Saturday at Kings Park after enjoying contrasting starts to the season: Jake White's men sit atop the overall Super Rugby standings, while Allister Coetzee's boys are only just recovering from a disastrous early run of defeats.
Playmaker Steyn, who has revelled under the tutelage of ex-Springboks coach White, is battling chronic knee dysfunction, and did not train with the national team at Monday's Northwood College Camp.
South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer had hinted that the utility back may be among those facing long spells on the sidelines, but the water was muddied somewhat by the Sharks' announcement on Wednesday that they had requested Steyn put no pressure on the affected knee.
"A final decision on the involvement of all the injured players will be taken later this week, before we announce the final squad for the June Tests on Saturday," said Meyer.