All Blacks fans can breathe a sigh of relief at the news that Brodie Retallick’s injury is not quite as bad as first expected.
Scans last night confirmed that there was no structural damage to Retallick’s shoulder as a result of a ruck clear-out during yesterday’s Rugby Championship fixture between New Zealand and South Africa.
Retallick left the field early in the second half after taking a hit from Springboks second-rower RG Snyman. The signs did not look good and coach Steve Hansen confirmed after the match that Retallick had suffered a shoulder dislocation.
The big lock was in noticeable pain after the hit – an unusual sight given the man’s ability to seemingly shrug off pain. The game ended in a 16-all stalemate.
Hansen today said there was no timeline around Retallick’s return to play but he was still in the mix for the World Cup, which kicks off on September 21.
Shoulder dislocations normally require 12 to 16 weeks of recuperation, which would mean Retallick wouldn’t make an appearance for the All Blacks until later in the tournament.
Retallick has already spent a significant amount of time out of the game this year thanks to a a wrist injury suffered during the Super Rugby season. In last night’s match he still looked far from his best and this latest injury will be a major nuisance for Hansen.
The second-rower is one of New Zealand’s most important players, particularly given the relative lack of depth that the All Blacks have at lock.
The All Blacks initially named a 39-man squad for the Rugby Championship. The squad will be reduced to 34 on Wednesday.
Brodie Retallick previously spent two months out of Super Rugby due to a wrist injury:
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