Thumb downs McCaw for eight weeks

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 06:17
Will only be available for selection again in late April

Richie McCaw faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines after breaking his thumb in the Crusaders' defeat to the Blues at Eden Park on Friday.

The All Black skipper hurt his thumb in the first half of the clash and did not feature after half-time as his side went down 35-24.

An x-ray confirmed the break, with a team spokesman saying medical advice was that the usual recovery time for such an injury was up to eight weeks.

This means that McCaw, who missed most of last year due to a sabbatical, will only be available for selection again in late April.

The Crusaders are set to confirm whether he needs surgery on Monday, but the All Blacks skipper is expected to spend two months out of the game.

The Christchurch franchise have an able openside flank replacement in the impressive Matt Todd but McCaw's leadership is sure to be missed.

The Crusaders have two byes in the time he is expected to be out of action, but also face tough matches against the likes of the Stormers, Hurricanes and Chiefs, whilst McCaw is expected to make his return against the Brumbies in Round 12.