You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

All Blacks enforcer Kaino out for up to six weeks

Reuters logo Reuters 27/04/2017

Video provided by AAP

New Zealand loose forward Jerome Kaino faces a race against time to be fit to play the British and Irish Lions in late June and early July after electing to have surgery on a meniscus tear in his knee.

The hulking blindside flanker, who has played 77 times for the All Blacks and won two World Cups, suffered the injury in Super Rugby action for the Auckland Blues two weeks ago and will have surgery on Friday.

Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson said the operation would sideline the 34-year-old for four to six weeks but was confident he would have time to prove his fitness before the first test against the Lions on June 24.

Kaino of New Zealand tackles De Jager of South Africa during their Rugby World Cup Semi-Final match against at Twickenham in London © REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth Kaino of New Zealand tackles De Jager of South Africa during their Rugby World Cup Semi-Final match against at Twickenham in London "He was feeling it and it was locking up on him," Jackson told reporters in Auckland. 

"Potentially he could have played but it was causing discomfort and if it locked up during the game time we would have had to replace him anyway.

"He'll get his feet up and normally you come back quick from those sorts of operations. I'm pretty sure he'll be fine for the Lions tour."

As in most positions, the All Blacks do not lack for cover at blindside flanker with Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Steven Luatua and the experienced Liam Messam all proven performers at test level.

Luatua, who will be moving to England at the end of the season, will switch from number eight to replace Kaino for the Blues against Australian conference leaders ACT Brumbies on Sunday.

Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu, who started three tests for the All Blacks last year, will also miss Sunday's match in Canberra because of injury, having hurt his back in training.

"He's got a flare-up of a disk in his back," Jackson said.

"It's a time thing for him. It could come right tomorrow or in two or three weeks. We're not sure."

More From Reuters

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon