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Coles making encouraging progress: Hansen

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/06/2017

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles is back training after an extended break with concussion symptoms, but isn't yet fit enough to be considered for Test rugby.

All Blacks coach Steven Hansen said it had been pleasing to hear positive news on Coles.

"Colesy's made really good progress," he said on Saturday ahead of New Zealand's first Test against the British and Irish Lions in Auckland.

"He's back training, he appears to be cleared of most of his symptoms."

The 48-Test hooker hasn't played rugby since being injured in the Hurricanes' March 18 Super Rugby match against the Highlanders.

He didn't train for two weeks and, on his return to running, suffered a calf tear as well as reporting headaches.

Because Coles had been out for so long, he wasn't fit enough for either Test or Super Rugby, Hansen said.

"We've put him now into what we're calling a pre-season training block. He'll stay with us and do that throughout the next three weeks, then go back to his franchise and they'll continue that."

Hansen said Coles will return "when he's deemed rugby-ready and fit enough for the vigours of Super Rugby".

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