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NZ captain Read may miss Samoa Test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read admits he may be forced to play the first Test of the upcoming British and Irish Lions series a tad rusty.

The 31-year-old loose forward broke a thumb in the Crusaders' win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein a fortnight ago, and was operated on in South Africa.

He is set to remain on the sidelines for about six weeks - taking him right up to the side's warm-up Test against Samoa on June 16.

The first Test against the Lions falls eight days later, on June 24.

As a result, Read said he was hesitant to take a risk on the thumb in the Samoa match and may wait until the Lions game to make his comeback.

That would mean playing his first game in almost two months in the cauldron of a Lions Test at Eden Park.

"That's probably a touch-and-go one - I think at the moment, they're kind of saying you can't use it for six weeks (and) that's a week before that Samoa game, we'll have to see if I push it or let things go," Read told Radio Sport.

"You can push it, (and) it's the type of injury you can push, but that increases the risk of a re-break.

"It's just a bit of time, to be honest."

Despite the injury, Read said he had kept fully match-fit during his Super Rugby absence and was confident of slotting back into the black jumper seamlessly.

He felt his 97-cap Test experience would see him through.

"I've played a number of Test matches and I've got the confidence in myself to turn up and play at a high level," Read said.

"The biggest thing is to back myself, and I'll be good."

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