All Blacks’ captain Kieran Read will miss the start of next year’s Super Rugby season following a back injury sustained in the recent northern hemisphere series.
The 32-year-old number 8 will therefore undergo surgery and is likely to miss the next four months, keeping him out of the Crusaders’ early fixtures in 2018.
“He has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams, as well as a back specialist, who will continue to monitor his recovery. Expected recovery time for such injuries is approximately four months,” the Crusaders said in a statement.
Read has struggled with injury in 2017 but returned to play a starring role in the British and Irish Lions series before the number eight helped New Zealand to another unbeaten Rugby Championship campaign.
He finished the season by captaining them on their northern hemisphere tour, where they once again won all their matches, but the back-row was forced out of their game against Wales.