Auckland - Waisake Naholo is back on the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup radar after coach Steve Hansen on Thursday backed the alternative treatment that the winger said had healed his broken leg in just a week.
New Zealand doctors said Fiji-born Naholo would be out for three months and would miss the World Cup after he cracked a fibula during his All Blacks debut against Argentina last month.
But after a week of treatment using traditional Fijian medicine, Naholo declared this week that the break had healed and Hansen responded that he was not surprised, although he still wanted a second opinion.
"I know of the treatment because I was over there and they were talking about it, ironically before Waisake got injured," Hansen said.
"They swear by it so who are we to pooh-pooh alternative medicine. The Chinese have been doing it for years.
"If it works I'm a believer."
Reports from Fiji said Naholo had already resumed light training after his uncle Isei Naiova applied traditional leaves, known as kawakawarau, on the injured leg for four days.
"As we took the leaves off, I noticed the injury was gone," said Naiova from his home in Nadroumai village, which is renowned among indigenous communities for the healing powers of certain families.
"This healing has been performed by our forefathers and has been passed down from generation to generation. It is a gift from God," Naiova told the Fiji Times.
However, Hansen said he would want the All Blacks medical staff to do X-rays and other medical checks before reinstating Naholo as a contender for a back-three role at the World Cup.
Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Julian Savea, Charles Piutau, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Cory Jane are already in the mix with the possibility only four will be on the plane to the World Cup in England next month.