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Crotty may return for Kiwis

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Crotty may return for All Blacks despite suffering 6 concussions in just 20 months

Ryan Crotty and Sam Cane are still in contention for New Zealand’s Rugby Championship clash with Argentina on Saturday after making good progress from recent concussions.

Crotty suffered a head injury following a collision with Jack Goodhue in their victory over Australia in the opening game in Sydney, while Cane sustained his knock last weekend at Eden Park.

Both have continued to train with the All Blacks ahead of the Pumas’ visit to Nelson and Steve Hansen has not ruled either out of a return.

“Ryan and Sammy are both tracking along nicely,” the coach said, as quoted by stuff.co.nz. “We’ll make decisions about them during the week.

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“We’ve got complete faith in whoever we pick. There’s an expectation that we play well and do the job so whomever we pick it will be because we believe they are good enough to do the job.”

Sonny Bill Williams will not be risked for the clash at Trafalgar Park, though, as Hansen looks to give him more time to recover from his shoulder injury.

Hansen added: “We’ve just got to get him back into contact and make sure that his shoulder is OK, so we’ll give him a bit of time to do that.”

Crotty was knocked out after making accidental contact with debutant team-mate Jack Goodhue as the All Blacks defeated the Wallabies 38-13 in Sydney.

The 29-year-old, who had made 38 appearances for his country, has now sustained six concussions in the last 20 months.

“It concerns us, definitely,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said in the aftermath of the match.

“He’s already seen a specialist and they’ve given him the all-clear. From our understanding as long as you fully recover and don’t go back when you’re not fully recovered, then you’re OK.

“He was just unlucky last night. It was freaky – friendly fire from Jack straight in the face. It would have knocked most of us out.”

Team-mate Sam Cane added: “It’s not nice to see. It’s just a tough injury. Everything else has a time-frame but there’s just so much unknown with head knocks and it seems like you can be only one away, if it’s the wrong one, from it being then end of it.

“I’ve seen that with a few mates. It certainly helps you appreciate every week and every game you have and realising how fickle it can be.”

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Crotty may return for All Blacks despite suffering 6 concussions in just 20 months