Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Richie McCaw returns to running, training

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/6688945/Richie-McCaw-returns-to-running-training  RICHARD KNOWLER IN RUSTENBURG  03/04/2012

The screws are gone and Richie McCaw will soon have his playing boots back on.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has confirmed All Blacks captain McCaw has had two screws in the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot removed and could play his first Super Rugby match of the year when the team returns to New Zealand next week.
"He had the two small screws taken out, everything went really well and he is making good progress,'' Blackadder said.
"We are not sure exactly when he will be ready to play for us but it could be for the Stormers match or against the Hurricanes the following week. It is just really good news for him that everything is on target and there were no problems.
McCaw is running and training in Christchurch.
After confronting the Bulls in Pretoria on Sunday morning (NZT) the Crusaders will meet the Stormers in Christchurch the following weekend. They will play the Hurricanes in Wellington on April 21.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will also be monitoring the openside flanker's progress as he plans for the three-match series against Ireland in June.
All parties will be hoping this latest operation proves to be the final time the surgeon has to open-up McCaw's foot.
He initially fractured the bone in early 2011 which required a screw to be inserted. Despite a delayed return to the Crusaders' campaign, he didn't play the first match until the April 16 fixture against the Chiefs, McCaw continued to manage the sore foot and made just seven appearances in their campaign.
McCaw was continued to be bothered by the injury throughout the World Cup and in the final weeks was unable to train because the original screw that had been inserted into the bone was deemed to be too big and causing him pain.
He had another operation after the World Cup to remove the screw and have more inserted.
The World Cup winner has been adamant he wouldn't return to playing until he was pain-free and was confident the bone had fully healed.

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