Dan Carter out of World Cup
Auckland - The All Blacks were dealt a massive blow in their quest for a World Cup crown on home soil on Sunday when star playmaker Dan Carter was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a serious groin injury.
The 29-year-old fly-half sustained a "torn adductor longus tendon" during kicking practice on Saturday and was immediately withdrawn from the All Blacks team to play Canada later on Sunday.
"The scan confirmed our worst fears, that the tendon has torn, which means he is out of the tournament," said All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson.
"He will see a specialist early next week to determine the next course of treatment for him, with surgery a possibility."
Carter, Robinson said, had "no history whatsoever of groin strains. It happened totally out of the blue", revealing that the scan had been "clean" apart from the present injury, something very unusual for a regular kicker.
The fly-half would likely be out for "10 to 12 weeks", Robinson added.
Coach Graham Henry said the news was "devastating for Daniel".
"He has worked so hard to be at a peak for the Rugby World Cup. We will rally around him and pull together as a team," said Carter.
Carter, who had been due to captain the All Blacks against Canada in the absence of Richie McCaw, was replaced by Colin Slade, with Manawatu's Aaron Cruden called up to the squad as cover.
"He's one of the best players ever produced by this country, this was going to be his pinnacle," Henry said of Carter.
"It's a tragic situation for a highly talented sportsman. It was his scene...
I feel very sad for him. We're all feeling for Daniel because he's been an integral part of the side for such a long time.
"He's not going to burst onto the finals and that's very sad.
"He's a key All Black, not only as the person who navigates the side on the field but also off the field."
But Henry added: "We need to move on and play the cards we've got.
"The group is shattered with this news, but they are also a resilient group.
"You have to make the best of the situation."
Usual captain McCaw also missed Sunday's final Pool A game with nagging pain from a surgically repaired stress fracture in his right foot.