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New Zealand captain Kieran Read to undergo surgery on back issue

The number eight will not play under Ronan O’Gara until April at the earliest.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

RONAN O’GARA WILL have to wait until at least April to coach All Black captain Kieran Read as he is set for an operation on his back.

The number eight, who was struggling with injuries through the November internationals before sitting out the season-ending Test against Wales, will undergo a procedure on a prolapsed disc this Saturday.

“He has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams,” said a statement from the reigning Super Rugby champions,”as well as a back specialist, who will continue to monitor his recovery. Expected recovery time for such injuries is approximately four months.”

An April return would see Read miss the Crusaders’ early-season Kiwi derbies against the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

It would stand to reason that he would skip the 1 April trip to face the Lions in Johannesburg and the clash with the Jaguares in Buenos Aires six days later. That punishing double long-haul stint is followed by a bye week for the Crusaders, putting the 21 April home meeting with the Sunwolves as a possible return date for Read as long as he does not suffer any delays in his recovery.

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