Crusaders captain to be eased back into the team after injury

2011-04-13 00:00

CHRISTCHURCH — Crusaders captain Richie McCaw will be gradually eased back into his team as he returns from injury, while other All Blacks in the team may receive a breather in the coming weeks.

According to the website, McCaw has returned to team training after recovering from foot surgery, and it is likely that if he is named in the match squad to face the Chiefs at Mount Maunganui, he will play off the bench.

“Possibly I will get him off the bench and ease him into it a little bit,” said coach Todd Blackadder

Other All Blacks, namely Brad Thorn and Kieran Read, have played nearly continuous rugby as the Crusaders juggernaut has gathered momentum, but circumstances could prevent their rest for a match.

In the case of Thorn, the injury to Sam Whitelock means that despite the Crusaders’ enviable depth at lock where they can call in veteran Chris Jack, the international duo will likely play on.

There were initial hopes that Thorn may have not have been required for the Crusaders upcoming two-match series in South Africa and the seemingly tireless lock would receive a rest spell befitting his huge workload in recent games.

The other question is regarding Dan Carter, who should be fit to play as his hamstring niggle was likely to only keep him in the casualty ward for a week.

The Crusaders have derby matches against the Chiefs and the Highlanders, before a three-match road trip to Perth, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.

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