Injured World Cup winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has said his recovery from foot surgery is proceeding to plan, having already started walking again and participating in minor training sessions.
McCaw, whose right foot became one of the most talked about appendages in world rugby last year, had surgery after he guided the All Blacks to an 8-7 victory over France, removing a small screw that has been inserted after suffering a stress fracture early in 2011.
While he said his foot was feeling good, he could not guarantee when he would return to action for the Crusaders.
As well as recovering from the surgery, McCaw has a sabbatical clause in his contract that allows him to ease into the Investec Super Rugby season, as opposed to the ‘overseas’ option that was taken up by Dan Carter in Perpignan and more recently Ma’a Nonu with the Ricoh Black Rams.
With the surgery a success and the screw removed in November, McCaw expected to be running again in February, and would probably eye a return to contact training by March.
"I've had three weeks now out of crutches and getting back walking," he said.
"I've done some cross training and all that, so yes, it seems to be going right."
McCaw, now the most capped All Black in history with 103 test appearances, wasn’t sure when he would add to his 110 caps for the Crusaders.
"But actually deciding when I'll be back, you'll have to wait and see, but things are progressing as they should,” he said.