It was revealed on Wednesday, at the All Black training session, that Carter could wear the No.12 jersey against the Boks in Hamilton, with Stephen Donald set for a return at flyhalf.
The change is likely to come about after Luke McAlister fractured his cheek bone against the Wallabies a fortnight ago and Conrad Smith strained his hamstring in the same encounter.
Despite retaining the Bledisloe Cup with the last-gasp 19-18 triumph in Sydney, the All Blacks have [paid a dear price - with their midfield resources severely stretched.
Injuries to Wellington's Tamati Ellison (calf) and Waikato's Richard Kahui (shoulder) have further complicated matters.
At the one-day All Black training camp in Christchurch on Wednesday, Carter, regarded as the world's best flyhalf, ran at inside centre, with Donald at No.10.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry suggested that the training combination could be significant.
"We're just trying to pick the best team for this Test match," Henry told a New Zealand media gathering.
"Dan can play [at] No.12 as we all know. He played No.12 for quite a lot of the game against Australia in Sydney [after Smith's injury]. It’s just a matter of us picking the best team for this particular test,” Henry added.
The Donald/Carter combination has been used before – they started at No.10 and No.12 respectively in the All Blacks’ Test against the Wallabies in Hong Kong late last year – but it was not entirely successful.
In that match, won 19-14 by the All Blacks after they were 9-14 down at half-time, Ma’a Nonu replaced Donald three minutes into the second half to join Conrad Smith in the midfield, with Carter taking over at flyhalf and creating an immediate improvement.
Wednesday the backline had Jimmy Cowan at scrumhalf, Donald at flyhalf, Carter at inside centre, Ma’a Nonu at outside centre, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Joe Rokocoko on the wings, and Mils Muliaina at fullback.
The All Blacks forward pack is likely to be unchanged from the Sydney Test.
Kieran Read, who played well at No.8 in that match after getting the nod ahead of Rodney So’oialo, showed no signs of the knee injury he picked up in Sydney.