Angus Crichton took desperate measures to ensure he wouldn't miss the start of the National Rugby League season.
The 21-year-old, who plays for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, had the top half of his left middle finger amputated earlier this week, his manager, David Rawlings, confirmed to Nathan Ryan of Fox Sports Australia.
Crichton originally ruptured a tendon in the finger and had it fused several times since. He was told he needed a seventh surgery, which would have sidelined him for 12 weeks and kept him out of the Rabbitohs' season opener on March 10.
"I can't bend the finger, so it's like I'm constantly giving people the bird. If I clench my fist, my middle finger sticks out," Crichton said. "One time, a while back, I accidentally cut someone off while I was driving and I put my hand up to wave at them to say sorry.
"The guy followed me all the way into a dead-end street. We each got out of our cars and he asked me if I'd stuck my finger up at him. I explained to him that I'd had it fused and it stuck out naturally. He understood after that."