Suffering from intense pain and severe muscle spasms, the 35-year-old former Newcastle, NSW and Australian captain underwent a discectomy on Sunday morning in which a herniated disc in his lower back was shaved to relieve pressure on nerves around his spine.
It was his second such procedure in less than three months, and Buderus faces another six to eight weeks on the sidelines to recover.
But the 2004 Dally M Medallist is determined to return to the field and walk way from the game on his own terms.
‘‘I’m not going out like that,’’ Buderus told the Newcastle Herald yesterday in response to social media speculation that he was contemplating retirement now.
‘‘I’m going to rehab it and work through the process to be back on the field.’’
The NRL’s oldest player this year, Buderus had planned to make this his 14th and final campaign with the Knights and retire at the end of season.