All Blacks skipper Read out for months
All Blacks skipper Read out for monthsSHARE
The reigning Super Rugby champions said Read would have an operation Saturday on a prolapsed disc, which normally requires four months' recovery.
The injury-dogged Read during the All Blacks' recent Northern Hemisphere tour, forcing him to miss the season-ending Test against Wales.
"He has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams, as well as a back specialist, who will continue to monitor his recovery," the Crusaders said in a statement.
If the Crusaders' four-month estimate is correct, Read will miss the Christchurch-based club's seven opening fixtures of the 2018 season.
The Crusaders open their Super Rugby title defence against the Chiefs.