It doesn’t Read well for All Blacks

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLINGTON: The All Blacks were sweat­ing yes­ter­day on the avail­abil­ity of cap­tain Kieran Read for the loom­ing Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions se­ries af­ter the back­rower suf­fered a bro­ken thumb.

Read left the field just be­fore half-time dur­ing the Can­ter­bury Cru­saders’ 48-21 vic­tory over the Cen­tral Chee­tahs in Bloem­fontein.

“I think the whole of New

Zealand is wor­ried,”

Cru­saders coach and for­mer All

Black

Scott

Robert­son told

Fair­fax

Me­dia af­ter Read was rushed to hospi­tal.

Cru­saders as­sis­tant coach Ja­son Ryan told the New Zealand Her­ald it was “dis­ap­point­ing and will be con­cern­ing for the All Blacks.”

Read, who has been capped 97 times and suc­ceeded Richie McCaw as All Blacks cap­tain fol­low­ing the vic­to­ri­ous 2015 World Cup cam­paign, un­der­went surgery in a South African hospi­tal.

The Cru­saders is­sued a state­ment say­ing it usu­ally takes six weeks to re­cover from such an op­er­a­tion.

The first Test against the Lions is eight weeks away in Auck­land on June 24.

Read, who missed the first six rounds of the Su­per com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing wrist surgery in the offseason, be­came the third se­nior All Black to go on the in­jured list in three days.

Jerome Kaino, who has played 77 Tests, will also be out of ac­tion for six weeks fol­low­ing a knee op­er­a­tion on Fri­day, while 60-Test full-back Ben Smith sprained an an­kle dur­ing the Otago High­landers win over the West­ern Storm­ers on Fri­day.

Is­rael Dagg, 61 caps, is be­lieved to be at least two weeks away from re­turn­ing to the Cru­saders af­ter in­jur­ing a knee in the third round of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Other in­jured All Blacks include Dane Coles, Nehe Mil­nerSkud­der, Pa­trick Tuip­u­lotu, El­liot Dixon, Lima Sopoaga and Taw­era Kerr-Bar­low. AFP

Kieran Read

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