http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/6072818/Richie-McCaw-targets-rugby-return-after-surgery DAVID LONG 02/12/2011
Richie McCaw says he does not expect to miss too much of next year's Super Rugby campaign because of his foot problem.
The All Blacks captain had surgery in Christchurch last week to remove the screw in his right foot that caused him so many problems during the World Cup.
Speaking for the first time since the operation, McCaw said he hoped he would not miss too much of the Crusaders' campaign, but insists he will not take risks with his comeback.
"It won't be until after Christmas that I start to get going again. I'm going to really make sure it has time to heal," McCaw said yesterday. "I haven't really put a timeline in place, but I want to make sure I get a good amount of time to getting fit and ready to go.
"I've talked to Todd [Blackadder, Crusaders coach] briefly about it and he just said make sure you take your time and don't rush back. But I'm picking that I won't miss too many games at the start of the season.
"I won't be there for the first game of Super Rugby but it won't be too far into it."
As for the state of the foot now, McCaw said it was already getting on his nerves having to use crutches to get around.
"I'm bloody frustrated already with the crutches," he said.
"It's going to come right but it's going to take time. It is a bit easier sitting here having played the games I wanted to this year and having this, rather than the other way round."
He had an operation last summer to insert the problematic screw into his foot. Having to go under the knife again is obviously a concern, but he is confident there should not be recurring problems.
"There was a bit of misconception [in the public]," he said.
"The screw that got put in held it together and fixed the stress fracture but it caused some other stress elsewhere.
"I've got the screw taken out and I'll give it a good rest now to make sure it strengthens up and there is no reason why it wouldn't be 100 per cent."
While McCaw is disappointed to be sidelined for the beginning of next season, for his long-term career, there's no real harm in him sitting out some games, especially for a player who is so important to New Zealand rugby.
Like other elite All Blacks, there is flexibility in his contract around how much rugby he plays, but he said he would have been looking to be on board for the Crusaders right at the beginning of their campaign.
"The reality was during the [World Cup] tournament I knew there was going to be time getting this sorted," he said. "I hadn't played a whole lot of rugby this year and I was going to have two months off anyway.
"So I thought if I was fit and ready to go I probably could have just carried on, but it hasn't turned out like that, so probably getting a break now is a good thing."
- Fairfax Media