The 24-year-old sustained the injury against the Blues last month, but had remained quiet since then. However, he took to Instagram today to say that he has had surgery on his knee, and is now facing a different challenge to the one he was hoping for this year.
Nonetheless, he remains upbeat, saying that he is “[l]ooking forward to accomplishing little goals day by day and coming back even better next year.”
This is what he said:
View this post on Instagram
Surgery all done ?? A bit of a different challenge to overcome this year rather than the one I was hoping for. Looking forward to accomplishing little goals day by day and coming back even better next year. A big thanks to everyone for their kind messages of support through this time. Rehab life… Let’s get it ??
This injury has had a major impact on both the Chiefs’ and the All Blacks’ seasons, as the injury came only days after being named in Steve Hansen’s provisional squad. There is no doubt that McKenzie would have been on the plane to Japan in September, and would have very likely been a starter for the national team.
McKenzie’s injury has caused problems for Hansen in terms of who he is replaced by, as he operated as a third choice fly-half whilst primarily being a fullback. His versatility is what marks the diminutive back out as a crucial member of the All Blacks team, and so hard to replace.
However, perhaps the Chiefs are the ones that have suffered the most in McKenzie’s absence, as they have been severely pushed for fly-halves this season. Although 21-cap All Black started the first few games of the season at 10, to not much avail, he would have helped during this current crisis, which has seen the team call upon veteran Stephen Donald.
There is no good time to get an injury like this, but this is perhaps the worst for McKenzie, with a World Cup on the horizon and after showing some good form with the Chiefs. However, he seems determined to come back better in 2020.
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