Cape Town - All Black flyhalf Dan Carter has revealed that he almost missed their Rugby World Cup semi-final against the Springboks due to injury.
In his new autobiography, Dan Carter - My Story, Carter says he injured his knee in their 62-13 quarter-final win over France in Cardiff.
"After the game I iced it (his knee) and took it easy, thinking it would be right in the morning. The next day, though, I could barely walk. Monday was as bad, if not worse. By Tuesday I thought I wasn't going to play the semi. I caught up with the team's medical staff, and they realised I'd tweaked my MCL (medial collateral ligament). I was given a cortisone injection, and didn't train at all on Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday was our day off, so I focused on getting right for Thursday, and figured I'd know then what my chances of running out that weekend were.
“Throughout that time I was fighting to avoid thinking the worst - that all my training and rehab was for nothing, that I'd miss out on the big games again. I spent time with Gilbert (Enoka, mental skills coach), which helped. He broke my day into two-hour blocks: the first would be gym and recovery; the next spent doing media - it gave me control and something on which to focus.
“Thursday came, and with it two training sessions. The morning was really light. I had a wee run around, and it felt a lot more stable. But I still wasn't confident on it - between the pain and the messages it sent to my brain I couldn't play with the necessary freedom. After my morning run I decided to get a local anaesthetic in my knee, just to take the pain away. That allowed me to - finally - get in a good, hard training session, which was a huge confidence booster.”
Carter went on to play a pivotal role in New Zealand’s 20-18 semi-final win over South Africa at Twickenham, kicking two touchline conversions, a penalty and a vital drop goal which turned the momentum of the match.
He was also on song the following weekend, kicking four penalties, two conversions and a drop goal as the All Blacks beat Australia 34-17 in the final.
READ the full extract on the NZ Herald website