Injury rules Dan Carter out of Highlanders clash

All Blacks and Crusaders star Dan Carter will miss this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin due to injury.

Carter injured his leg in the Crusaders 10-20 loss to the Rebels in the opening round of the season in Christchurch last weekend.

Crusaders assistant coach Aaron Mauger says that the injury is not serious but its unlikely he will be considered for selection this week.

Carter injured his lower right leg in the same area that he suffered a small fracture in last year’s Super Rugby final but played on until the 74th minute last week.

Crusaders assistant Mauger is however adamant that the new injury is related to the one that kept him out of the Rugby Championship.

“He just took a bit of a bang in the weekend, so it is a new injury – not too bad,” Mauger told Stuff.

“He just had a bit of a dead feeling during the game. Hopefully we will get him running again towards the weekend. He did a slight jog today which is an encouraging sign for us. But it is unlikely he will play this weekend.”

Carter suffered the injury while making a clearance kick from inside his in-goal area but after the match he said that he expected to be fine for this week.

Israel Dagg will be available for selection this weekend so it’s is likely that he will return at fullback and Colin Slade will move to first five.

Mauger says that Carter has not been sent for scans on the injury which indicates that they are not too worried about the injury.

“None of that stuff, it is a new injury so they are just treating it like any other knock on the leg. So, nothing too serious.”

Carter will be eager to return as soon as possible given that it is a world cup year but he will also be mindful that rushing back before he is ready could extend the length of time on the sidelines.

The All Black star dropped back in the national selection order last year after his injury and he will be desperate to get a few strong performances for the Crusaders under his belt.

While Carter was unavailable to speak to the media about his injury Mauger said that he was “clearly disappointed”.

“But he’s a pretty resilient lad and he will just get on and go through the process and do everything he can to be right for the next opportunity.”

Even if Carter makes a miraculously quick recovery the Crusaders coaches want to be cautious with such a valuable player.

“Just the feedback from the medics and where it is at to date. It is just cutting it a bit fine and what we want is a bit of surety going into this challenge,” Mauger added.

“It is going to be a big one going into Dunedin. So we have every faith Colin will do the job.”

Meanwhile halfback Andy Ellis and winger Nemani Nadolo are back training with the Crusaders but they won’t be available for selection this weekend.

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