All Blacks captain Richie McCaw Photo: Toru Hanai

Wellington - All Blacks captain Richie McCaw may have played the last two tests of his team's just-completed series against England with a broken rib which will cause him to miss three weeks of the Super Rugby season.

Coach Steve Hansen said on Tuesday that McCaw suffered a cracked or broken rib during the first or second test of the three-test England series which New Zealand won 3-0. McCaw played for 80 minutes in all three matches.

Hansen told Radio Sport McCaw as first thought to be suffering from bruising but his injury may have been more serious.

Super Rugby resumes on Friday after a four-week break for June internationals and McCaw's three-week absence is a severe blow to the Christchurch-based Crusaders who are currently first in the New Zealand conference.