All Blacks and Crusaders captain Richie McCaw will miss the first month of the Super 15 rugby season after fracturing a bone in his foot.
The 30-year-old openside flanker, who sustained the stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal on his right foot during a fitness test last Monday, has been booked in for surgery and is expected to be out for six weeks.
“The injury is obviously disappointing but it’s not likely to be one that will bother me in the long term,” McCaw told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’ll have the operation and then get on with my rehab and look forward to turning out for the Crusaders when I’m given the all-clear by the medical staff.”
The expanded Super 15 rugby tournament starts on February 18 and the first match for the Canterbury-based Crusaders, who reached the semi-finals last year, is against the Auckland Blues on February 19.
McCaw, who will captain New Zealand as they attempt to win the World Cup on home soil at the end of the year, said waiting before having surgery was not an option.
“There was no real choice,” McCaw said. “With or without the surgery there would have been time laid off and they’ve decided that’s the thing to do.
“A lot of people have said to me that it’s better to have happened now but I wanted to get stuck in for the Crusaders and get going for the year,” he added.
“But it’s happened now, I guess with it being a big year I’ve got it out of the way and this is all we have to deal with.”
Fellow back-rower Kieran Read will stand in as Crusaders captain while McCaw is sidelined. — Reuters