Wellington – All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will miss next month’s Tests against France and Italy after sustaining a knee injury in the Super 14 semi-final, the New Zealand Rugby Union said.
The symptoms worsened on the flight back from South Africa and McCaw had a scan in Christchurch on Thursday, All Blacks’ doctor Deb Robinson said in a statement.
“The scan revealed he had a torn ligament on the postero-lateral corner (outside) of his right knee.”
“He will have a period of complete rest and once the swelling and pain have subsided then he will be able to get into some bike work before he can resume running and rugby training.”
McCaw, who does not require surgery, should be fit for the start of the Tri-Nations on July 18 against Australia in Auckland.
It is the second time that McCaw has injured his right knee this year after he damaged the medial ligament in a Super 14 match in March. Robinson said the latest injury was not related to the previous one.
“It’s incredibly disappointing news for Richie,” All Blacks coach Graham Henry said.
“As everyone knows, he is an outstanding and influential player and the leader of the All Blacks and we will be giving him every support he needs over the next few weeks.”
Henry now faces a selection dilemma at openside flanker with Scott Waldrom, who was on the All Blacks tour of the northern hemisphere late last year, ruled out earlier this week for at least three months after breaking bones in his back.
Waldrom was injured in the Wellington Hurricanes’ Super 14 semi-final loss to the Chiefs last Friday.
Chiefs openside flanker Tanerau Latimer now looms as the likely replacement for both McCaw and Waldrom when the All Blacks’ squad for the June Tests is named on Sunday.
New Zealand play France in Dunedin on June 13 and in Wellington on June 20 before meeting Italy in Christchurch on June 27.Tweet