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Hurricanes lose Smith for Cheetahs - maybe longer


Conrad Smith has been ruled out this week

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Article Published: Monday 6 May 2013


Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith has been ruled out of his team's match against the Cheetahs this weekend but he will remain with the team in South Africa.

Smith was knocked out in the Hurricanes 48-14 loss to the Bulls on Saturday and was stretchered from the field in a neck brace after he was was unconscious for around 45 seconds.

The All Black was sent to hospital for precautionary scans on his neck which came back all clear and he was then allowed to return to the team hotel later that night.

Smith has however failed his initial psychometric test so he has been ruled out of the Hurricanes match this weekend.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has been quick to ease concerns over his team captain and said that Smith was 'very chirpy' and has been taking part in the their activities away from the field.

Smith decided that he should stay with the team rather than return to Wellington and has also taken a limited part in training.

"He's in a very good space. He came down to training with us. He took a very limited part in that," said coach Hammett.

"In terms of his general well being, his general feeling, he's very up, probably more so than he thought he would be as well," Hammett told Sportal .

"From my perspective he seems very chirpy and quite upbeat to the point that he wants to stay in Africa with the team.

"He seems fairly upbeat but he's a smart man and he won't do anything that's not best for him."

Smith will continue to have psychometric testing but Hammett was non-commital on when the All Black centre would be able to return to playing or what failing the test would mean in the long term.

"Like all injuries, and particularly these type of injuries, we've got to be really careful and monitor them," said the coach.

"There's no doubt we've got the best people looking after that. Conrad is a very, very smart man as well so there's no way he'd put himself at undue risk.

"He'll continue to be tested this week but that will have no bearing on selection this week.

"That's just around his ability to then get into light training and the process which is always done when we're talking about a head injury."

Smith was stunned twice in the Hurricanes second round loss to the Blues and after failing a concussion test then saif that he would consider his playing future if he started suffering repeated head knocks but Hammett said he did not believe Smith was at that stage yet.

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