All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter may not recover in time to play any part in this year's Rugby Championship.
Carter has been out since fracturing his leg in the Crusaders' Super Rugby final defeat to the Waratahs last month. It was thought that Carter might be available for the trip to Argentina and South Africa, although that's looking increasingly unlikely as he has made slow progress with his recovery.
'Dan's tracking really well, but I doubt we'll see him in the Rugby Championship,' All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster told the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday. 'So we've got some decisions to make. We are probably at least a week away from making that decision yet. But he's certainly at the running stage; controlled running. We've just started to introduce a little bit of contact on a controlled basis, so there's little things like that. He's ticking the boxes.'
Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett have proven able deputies in his absence. Cruden looks likely to make a return to the starting XV for the Test against the Springboks in Wellington, having missed the bonus-point win over Argentina with a chest injury.
The All Blacks are scheduled to announce their team on Thursday.
Photo: Matt King/Getty Images