Liam Napier/NZ Herald
Chiefs captain Cane took a heavy knock colliding with Jordie Barrett’s knee 26 minutes into his side’s 31-18 defeat in Wellington.
The incident left Cane prone on the turf and there was immediate concern from Barrett and nearby Coles before trainers and medics arrived.
While he regained consciousness and eventually walked from the field, Cane did not return and will now face return-to-play testing measures.
“I’ve got a close relationship with Sammy and he didn’t look too good,” Hurricanes captain Coles said.
“I caught up with him after the game and he seems stable to be fair. You’ve got to feel for the fella, it’s a tough gig with a few of those. We wish him all the best with recovery and getting well.”
Concern for Cane stems from the neck fracture he suffered in South Africa playing for the All Blacks that almost ended his career two years ago.
With his leading defensive presence Cane is a naturally abrasive player who repeatedly puts himself in compromising positions.
Gatland, however, cleared Cane of major damage to his neck area on this occasion, and with the Chiefs finishing their 0-8 season one week early for the bye, the newly-appointed national captain has three weeks to recover for the North versus South match on August 29 at Eden Park.
“He was a loss for us. He’s had a knock, I don’t think it was anything to do with his neck,” Gatland said.
“He’s lined Jordie up, and he’s come down and hit him. It looks like it’s a concussion that he’ll go through. Talking to him in the changing rooms he seems okay. He can remember what happened, so it’s not like he can’t recall the incident, so he’ll need to go through the return-to-play protocols.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now