'Progressing well': All Blacks captain Sam Cane gives injury update
Sam Cane has indicated he may be back playing by the time the All Blacks embark on their end-of-year tour of the United States and Europe.
After almost five months of no action, the 29-year-old took to social media on Thursday to provide an update on his recovery status.
“Thought it was about time I gave an update as to where I’m at in my return to play journey,” Cane wrote in an Instagram post.
“Four months post shoulder reconstruction and pectoral reattachment, have finally got full range of movement so am now focusing on building back strength and function. Progressing well and aiming to be back playing in roughly two months’ time.”
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A return to play in two months would coincide with the All Blacks’ northern hemisphere tour, which is scheduled to kick-off against the USA Eagles at Washington DC on October 23.
However, Foster has previously indicated that Cane could return to action via the NPC, which runs through until mid-October.
The Premiership and Championship finals are scheduled to take place on the same weekend that the All Blacks play the United States, with the semi-finals to be played the weekend beforehand.
Assuming Cane’s provincial side, Bay of Plenty, fail to make the Premiership play-offs, he may only have one or two matches, against Wellington and Counties Manukau, to earn some game time within his two-month recovery timeframe.
If he isn’t able to gain exposure at provincial level before his return to the All Blacks, Cane might have to make-do with comeback fixtures against lower-level test nations such as the USA and Italy.
The added complication of Covid-19 might also thwart any chance of Cane playing provincial rugby, as the All Blacks face the prospect of potentially playing their last 2021 test on home soil this weekend.
All Blacks and Chiefs star Damian McKenzie has reportedly signed a deal with Japanese club Tokyo Sungoliath that will see him miss the 2022 Super Rugby season. #AllBlacks #SuperRugby #JapanRugbyLeagueOne #Chiefs #TokyoSungoliath https://t.co/NzX4fYRY5B
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 13, 2021
Saturday’s clash against the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland will be followed by another Bledisloe Cup match in Perth on August 28.
A pause in the trans-Tasman travel bubble means the All Blacks may not return to New Zealand before their end-of-year tour due to quarantine restrictions.
According to the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Rugby has an agreement with its players that they will only quarantine once this year, which will come following the end-of-year tour.
That means Rugby Championship matches against Argentina, which were initially scheduled to be held in Auckland and Wellington, will now be played in Australia, while tests against the Springboks in Auckland and Dunedin remain up in the air.
Should the bubble re-open in mid-September, those clashes against South Africa at Eden Park and Forsyth Barr Stadium will go ahead as planned, but the uncertainty of the virus could force the All Blacks abroad for up to three months.
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