That was the positive spin being put on the latest injury update provided by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen before his team's departure for their away Rugby Championship match in Buenos Aires against Argentina.
Hansen confirmed Dagg was his fourth player to have his season ended prematurely with his ongoing knee problems, but said the overall prognosis was much better than was originally feared.
"Izzy has been to see his surgeon and the news is relatively positive in that with a good rest his knee should be OK for him to play on," said Hansen shortly before a Friday evening flight out for Argentina. "He'll be taking that rest from now until the beginning of next rugby season."
Dagg joins props Owen Franks (Achilles tendon) and Joe Moody (dislocated shoulder) and utility back Jordie Barrett (shoulder) on the rehab list. All three have had the required surgery and started their recoveries.
"Owen and Joe both come through their ops really well and their rehab is under way," Hansen said.
Beauden Barrett confirmed his younger brother was also as active as he could be in his post-operative state.
"Jordie is good. He's in Taranaki whitebaiting, though he's a bit disappointed they're not running at the moment," said Beauden who was a late callup for the Argentina leg to replace expectant dad LIma Sopoaga. "He's still in his sling, so I don't think he's doing much farmwork at the moment. He's spending most of his time down at the river."
Hansen said the rehab programmes for Franks, Moody and Barrett had all been well mapped out with their franchises to allow for a return to the field in 2018.
"Everybody is aware of what we're doing and what the time-lines are and we'll have a check point for all three in another four weeks."
For Dagg, the prognosis will be welcomed after the 29-year-old 66-test wing-fullback had undergone somewhat of a late-career rejuvenation following his 2015 World Cup non-selection.
He played in 12 tests in 2016, starting them all, and had been a fixture in the run-on XV for the All Blacks' first four tests for 2017 before the knee problem reared its head again.
He had surgery on his right knee in March after a Super Rugby injury against the Reds, and spent six weeks on the sidelines.
He missed the first two Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies with the problem, returned for the test against the Pumas in New Plymouth, but had to hobble off.
Photo by: PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES Caption:Israel Dagg scores a try against Argentina but won't play again this year after a knee injury.