Sam Cane hints at possible return date after lengthy injury spell
Cane has been out of action since April after he sustained a pectoral injury while playing for the Chiefs during the Super Rugby season and was absent during the All Blacks’ recent test series against Tonga and Fiji.
The 29-year-old was also not included in the All Blacks squad named to compete in the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship series on Monday, with interim skipper Sam Whitelock taking the captaincy reins once again.
Speaking to SENZ on Monday, Cane said he is still some way off from returning to the test arena after complications arose during his recovery from what he was initially told was a torn pectoral muscle.
“I’d been told I tore my pec, but when they went in and had a look there were three other things that needed tidying up,” the 74-test flanker said.
“So, the first initial thought was four to six months, which is the pec range. Once I ended up getting the full shoulder reconstruction it was always going to be six months.”
Cane added he remains on track to return to the playing field before the end of the year as he is targeting a brief stint with Bay of Plenty in the latter stages of this year’s NPC before making his way back into the All Blacks squad.
“I’ve looked at where the six-month mark sits post-surgery and there’re two or three games on the Bay of Plenty schedule before playoffs, so will be pretty nice to be able to pull on the Bay jersey,” he said.
However, Cane didn’t confirm a specific return date as he said comeback is dependent on how well he recovers over the coming months.
“It’s one of those injuries that will be ready when it’s ready.”
The NPC is scheduled to kick-off on August 6, with Bay of Plenty scheduled to begin their campaign against reigning champions Tasman in Tauranga two days later.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, will continue their test campaign when they host the Wallabies in the opening Bledisloe Cup test of the year at Eden Park in Auckland on August 7.
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