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All Black Jerome Kaino to undergo minor knee surgery in bid to be fit for Lions

The blindside probably won’t be fit until June.

Blindsided: Kaino, wearing number 8 in this win over the Force, may have to settle for a role in the latter two Tests.
Blindsided: Kaino, wearing number 8 in this win over the Force, may have to settle for a role in the latter two Tests.
Image: Photosport/Anthony Au-Yeung/INPHO

BLUES AND ALL Black flanker Jerome Kaino will have to recover from knee surgery in the weeks before the Lions visit New Zealand this summer.

Having made his international debut in 2004, the 34-year-old played against the tourists for the Blues in 2005, but missed out on the Test series with Jerry Collins, Mose Tuiali’i, Sione Lauaki, Rodney So’oialo and Marty Holah in the squad ahead of him.

Tomorrow, Kaino will undergo minor knee surgery on a meniscus tear in his knee with medics putting a four to six-week recovery period. That leaves two weeks wiggle room before the first Test of the series on 24 June, but it’s far from ideal preparation for the stalwart.

Jerome Kaino and Ardie Savea Kaino, left, with Ardie Savea in Chicago.

Along with Kaino, who played as an emergency second row when New Zealand lost to Ireland in November, other ABs currently nursing concerns include captain Kieran Read (hip, though he has travelled to South Africa with the Crusaders), Israel Dagg, Dane Coles (both knee), Nehe Milner-Skudder (foot) and Patrick Tuipulotu (back).

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