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All Blacks Injury Update

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

22 June 2008 - All Blacks captain Richie McCaw suffered a high ankle sprain in Saturday night's Iveco Series victory over England and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks. An MRI scan this morning confirmed a syndesmosis injury. At this stage the ligament tear is not expected to require surgery although the injury to his left leg will be further reviewed by a specialist later this week. No decision on a replacement player is expected next weekend.

Lock Ali Williams' right ankle sprain sustained in the 44-12 win over England means the 27-year-old is in doubt for the All Blacks' Philips Tri Nations opener against South Africa on July 5. His availability will be reviewed when the All Blacks re-assemble in Wellington next week.

Halfback Brendon Leonard continues to be troubled by a knee injury and will have arthroscopic surgery this week. The procedure means the Chiefs player is unavailable for approximately six weeks. Leonard's injury, that involves bone bruising and a cartilage tear, dates back to April and has been reaggravated by exercise. Highlanders halfback Jimmy Cowan will remain with the All Blacks squad as a replacement player.

Prop Tony Woodcock's return to rugby in Saturday's Iveco Series Test was successful while tighthead prop John Afoa continues to make good progress following a ligament injury sustained against Ireland two weeks ago. Afoa will play club or provincial rugby next weekend as a further step in his rehabilitation. With Afoa progressing, it is expected that neither Ben Franks or John Schwalger will assemble with the All Blacks squad for the Philips Tri Nations.

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