Carter injury doesn’t faze Deans

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans won’t be moping around this week wondering what could have been after it was revealed that he could lose his star Dan Carter to injury for up to six weeks.

Carter was helped off the field on Friday and scans revealed that he had sustained a “high ankle sprain” in a tackle in teh Crusaders match against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

“We’ll just keep trucking on,” Dean told The Press.

“It’s bad luck for DC, and no-one likes to see a player suffer like that, but it’s just part of the territory.”

X-rays show that Carter has not broken any bones but the MRI scan showed the damage to his ankle is serious enough to sideline him until mid-May, possibly longer.

The whole of New Zealand will be hoping that Carter makes a recovery soon but if he is out for six weeks he would only return for the Crusaders last but one scheduled match against the Reds in Brisbane on May 10.


If he takes a week longer he will face the Highlanders in Christchurch.


On the upside he would be fresh for the All Black’s June tests against Ireland and then England. (That’s if Nick Evans hasn’t become NZ’s top No.10)


Deans said Carter was pragmatic about the injury.”He’s in great shape mentally. Now, he’s got the chance to get himself back in better shape.

“Potentially, he could be out for longer (than six weeks) but it’s just a matter of seeing how the ankle responds over the next few weeks.”

Coincedentally Halfback Andy Ellis suffered a similar injury in the pre-season match against the Hurricanes on January 25. He was expected to be out for six weeks as well but he returned to play after three weeks.

The Crusaders have a bye this week so Carter won’t be missed immediately and the Cruisaders next match is against the Lions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on April 12.

There is a chance Stephen Brett might have recovered from his shoulder injury to start at first-five, but Deans will not risk him if he is not fully fit.

When Brett damaged his AC joint against the Cheetahs on March 15, it was estimated he would take between four and six weeks to recover. He has since made swift progress, but Deans remains cautious.

“We won’t be rushing him in before he’s ready.”

Deans has the option of moving fullback Leon MacDonald to first-five or giving rookie Hamish Gard his first start in the position.

“Leon’s a possibility. There’s a whole lot of things we can look at, really,” Deans said.


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