Wellington - New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter will miss at least the first two matches of the Rugby Championship against Australia after injuring his leg in last weekend's Super Rugby final.
Carter, the all-time leading points scorer in test rugby, was recalled to the All Blacks squad last week after sitting out the June internationals against England as part of a six-month sabbatical.
Playing for the Canterbury Crusaders in Saturday's loss to the New South Wales Waratahs at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, however, the 32-year-old was forced to leave the pitch after half an hour.
“Dan Carter took a knock to his lower leg and a scan has revealed a small crack in his upper fibula,” the Crusaders said in media release on Tuesday.
“The size of the crack meant it was not originally picked up by an X-ray and required a scan to locate it. The injury will require just rest to heal and it is hoped that his recovery will take approximately four weeks.”
Aaron Cruden, who started all three tests in the series sweep of England in June, is almost certain to deputise for Carter again when New Zealand take on Australia in Sydney on Aug. 16 looking for a tier one record 18th successive win.
Carter will also miss the return match against the Wallabies in Auckland the following week but could be fit to take on Argentina in Napier on Sept 6.
There was better news about All Blacks and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett, who is expected to start at loosehead against Australia after Tony Woodcock suffered a shoulder injury that may require surgery.
“Wyatt Crockett hurt his left knee when he landed on it in a tackle,” the Crusaders release added.
“His knee is settling well and it is not expected it to affect his ability to train next week.”
Uncapped prop Joe Moody, who was called into the All Blacks squad as cover for Woodcock, suffered a concussion against the Waratahs but is “making good progress”, the release said.