Wellington - New Zealand captain Richie McCaw says he's optimistic veteran hooker Keven Mealamu will be fit for the All Blacks' three-Test rugby series against Ireland in June.
Mealamu has missed the past five Auckland Blues games in Super Rugby because of a recurring calf injury but was able to join in scrum and other practice at the All Blacks' training camp in Auckland on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old veteran of 92 Tests needs one more Test to overtake Sean Fitzpatrick as New Zealand's most-capped hooker.
McCaw said "he's coming right so that's good news. He's been a bit frustrated having to watch, so it's good to see him not too far off playing."
Injuries have already ruled out wings Richard Kahui and Corey Jane from the Irish series.