Vodacom Super 14

Carter 'will be fit' for Perth

2010-04-19 11:00
Dan Carter (File)
Sydney - Dan Carter should be passed fit for the remaining regular season Super 14 matches as the Crusaders, the new competition leaders, focus on a home semifinal on May 21-22.

A scan at the weekend revealed no serious damage to Carter's hip joint, confirming the injury that forced him to sit out Saturday night's 45-6 win over the Cheetahs at AMI Stadium was muscular. Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder will meet with the team's medical staff on Monday to further discuss Carter's health. The squad leaves for Perth on Wednesday to play the Force on Friday and then heads to South Africa to meet the Stormers and Bulls, who are both in imposing form.

Sunday, Blackadder was confident All Blacks first five-eighth Carter would tour, reiterating he was close to being passed fit to play against the Cheetahs before withdrawing at the captain's run on Friday. However, he did add that he was eager to put Carter through a rigorous fitness test before flying out for Australia.

Hooker Corey Flynn, who has made only two appearances as a substitute this season because of a cracked ankle bone suffered in a pre-season match, will also have to pass a fitness test before flying out and halfback Andy Ellis will have to prove he has shaken off the concussion suffered against the Hurricanes on Good Friday.

Flynn has not suited up since March 12 and if scratched, Daniel Perrin will again back up Ti'i Paulo. No 8 Kieran Read, who missed the Cheetahs match because of a shoulder problem, is expected to make a quick recovery.

Blackadder was hopeful his four wounded All Blacks would tour. The news is not so good for wing Jared Payne, who suffered a head knock and had to be replaced in the first half of the match against the Cheetahs.

"He's not looking good for Friday and there is a possibility he will not travel."

Fellow wing Kade Poki will not travel after re-aggravating a hamstring injury that has prevented him from making any appearances this season.

In 2008, Poki looked to have a bright future in the Super 14, having made 11 starts under previous coach Robbie Deans, but injuries have resulted in him playing just four matches over the past two seasons.

Blackadder is unlikely to bring in anyone from outside the squad as cover because he has the option of using Adam Whitelock and Tu Umaga-Marshall, who made his Crusaders debut on Saturday night as a substitute. He was brought on to the bench when Daniel Bowden started at No 10 in Carter's absence.

If any of the players do not pass their fitness tests this week, Blackadder has the option of leaving them in Christchurch to recuperate before flying them to Perth to join the team when they leave for Cape Town.

"We may yet take some players to Western Australia and then send them back if we bring the other guys in from New Zealand."

Leaving for Perth, via Auckland and Sydney, on Wednesday will give the side just 48 hours to acclimatise to the Western Australian heat.

Leaving earlier was not an alternative because Sanzar would not pay for the extra costs.

Read more on:    super 14  |  dan carter  |  crusaders

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