Crusaders lose Read for 4 months
Cape Town - All Blacks captain Kieran Read has been ruled out for four months as he will undergo surgery on a prolapsed lumbar disc in his back.
Read sustained the injury at the back-end of last season and is now set to miss the Crusaders' opening seven games of the Super Rugby season with an estimated return date set for mid-April.
"He has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams, as well as a back specialist, who will continue to monitor his recovery. Expected recovery time for such injuries is approximately four months," the Crusaders said in a statement.
The 32-year-old is taking a positive view on matters, however, despite being largely restricted to his couch.
"So lucky there's a big summer of cricket coming up as I will be spending plenty of time here over the next few weeks," Read posted on social media.
"Head in for surgery on a disc in my back on Saturday, which I injured at the end of the season. Hopefully I don't miss too much of the @superrugby season. I'll get through it thanks to ACC."
Read missed the All Blacks' final match of the year due to the very same injury, a 33-18 victory over Wales in Cardiff as the world champions closed out their tour of the Northern Hemisphere unbeaten.
2017 New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year Sam Whitelock led the Crusaders and All Blacks in Read's absence.
The Crusaders kick off their Super Rugby campaign with a clash against the Chiefs on February 24.