Wales and Llanelli hooker Robin McBryde admits he is baffled by the neck injury that will force him to miss as much as three months of the new season.
The 34-year-old has been ruled out until late November at least after a scan revealed a prolapsed disk at the top of his spine.
"It's a mystery. I didn't feel anything happen and it's not where the wear and tear usually happens," he said.
"Obviously you've got to be sensible with an injury of this nature, so three months was mentioned without even thinking of doing anything."
That means McBryde will miss Wales' autumn Tests against South Africa and the All Blacks, the opening rounds of the Heineken Cup as well the start of Llanelli's defence of their Celtic League.
It is unsure yet whether he will need surgery but specialists have already ordered a lengthy lay off during his testimonial year.
"I am disappointed because it's the first pre-season I've done in a few years, so I felt I'd benefited from that," McBryde added.
"There's no good time to have an injury but I could have timed it a bit better.
"I suppose the only up side is that I'll have a bit more time to spend to organise events for my testimonial, but it's no way to celebrate spending ten years at the club."
McBryde missed Wales's summer tour to Argentina and South Africa because of a shoulder injury, after winning his 33rd cap during the Six Nations.
A special video package as Pontypridd claimed the double for the first time in their history by winning the Principality Premiership final, including match build-up, highlights, post match reaction and dressing room celebrations.