Rugby World Cup 2011
Carter: Groin op successful
Dan Carter (AFP)
Auckland - All Blacks star Dan Carter said on Thursday that the surgery he underwent on his Rugby World Cup-ending groin injury had been successful.
Carter, who is walking with a slight limp, underwent surgery in Melbourne earlier this month to repair his left adductor longus tendon.
The flyhalf, whom many New Zealand fans considered central to their team's hopes of winning the World Cup, was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament after suffering his injury during kicking practice on the eve of the All Blacks' final pool match against Canada.
Test rugby's all-time leading points scorer, with 1 250 from 85 matches, the 29-year-old Carter is now undergoing a rehabilitation programme.
"The groin's good, the operation was successful and it's now a matter of rehabilitation," said Carter.
"My direction is towards next season. That's another four months away and I'll be well rehabbed," Carter, who plays for Super 15 side Canterbury Crusaders, said.
"There's no rush to return to play."
Carter said he had immediately come back from surgery into the All Blacks camp to help motivate the players as they moved towards Sunday's World Cup final against France.
"I had to get over the initial disappointment and help the boys," he said.
"Having to watch the last two games were the toughest times for me. I get extremely nervous, I have no sense of control.
"I just want the boys to win."
Carter's replacement, Colin Slade, also suffered a tournament-ending groin injury, with third-choice Aaron Cruden, who played at flyhalf in the semi-final win over Australia, now set to start in the key position against France.
"I've been really impressed with Aaron," Carter said. "He's making the most of his opportunity."
Turning to Sunday's final, Carter dubbed France the All Blacks' "arch-nemesis" in the World Cup after the French pulled off shock victories over New Zealand, favourites at the time, in the 1999 semi-final and 2007 quarter-final.
"They are our arch-nemesis at World Cup time, everyone knows the past," he said.
"People always write them off, but come the World Cup they seem to grow another leg.
"They're such a dangerous team with their backs to the wall.
"They scraped through the round-robin but since the playoffs they have turned into a different side.
"You have to expect the unexpected. The guys realise that they're in for a huge challenge."
Carter pinpointed their "world-class" loose forward trio and back three as France's danger men.
"They have a lot of areas of strength," he said.
Carter, who spent an injury-shortened season in France after the 2007 World Cup with club side Perpignan, added that he would not be back playing in the Top 14 anytime soon.
"New Zealand is where my immediate future is," he said. "I have signed up with the New Zealand Rugby Union."
And having missed out on what many believed would be his best shot at World Cup glory, Carter failed to commit himself to playing in the next edition in England in 2015.
"In my experience, four years is a long time," he said.
* RWC final odds on BET.CO.ZA: New Zealand vs France