Sam Cane leaved the field injured during the 2018 Rugby Championship match between South Africa and New Zealand. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

WELLINGTON – Injured All Blacks flanker Sam Cane will miss more than half the Super Rugby season as he continues a long recovery from a broken neck, his club said Tuesday.

Cane was Tuesday again named co-captain of the Waikato Chiefs, this year in partnership with Brodie Retallick, but the club said in a statement he was unlikely to take the field until late April.

The openside flanker broke his neck in a collision with South African Francois Louw during the All Blacks' 32-30 win over the Springboks in Pretoria last October.

Doctors said he suffered a fractured vertebrae but escaped nerve damage that would have had more severe consequences.

Sam Cane is being attended to to after sustaining an injury at Loftus Stadium. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Sam Cane is being attended to to after sustaining an injury at Loftus Stadium. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Cane, who only resumed light jogging earlier this month, is now in a race against time to be fully fit for the All Blacks opening Rugby Championship Test against South Africa on July 27. 

The Wellington Test will effectively be a dress rehearsal for the much anticipated opening pool match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan two months later. 

The 2019 Super Rugby season kicks off on February 15 with the Chiefs hosting the Otago Highlanders in the opening game.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)