WELLINGTON, July 1 – Experienced lock Ali Williams will miss the rest of the All Blacks season as he undergoes surgery for an injured Achilles tendon.
The 28-year-old will be out for up to four months, meaning he will miss the entire Tri-Nations series and will have had no game time under his belt by the time the All Blacks begin their end-of-season tour to Europe in November.
"Ali saw a specialist in Auckland yesterday and it was confirmed that he would require surgery on his right Achilles. He will be out of rugby for up to four months," All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said Wednesday.
A surgeon will also assess his troublesome left shoulder, Robinson said.
Williams said he was keen to get back on the field as quickly as possible.
"Its just a case of getting on with the surgery and then the rehab so I can then get back to playing some footy," the 61-Test veteran said.
Williams has had an injury-plagued year because of a back injury and the Achilles tendon problem, which first struck in late March when he was playing for the Auckland Blues in the Super 14.
He was due to return to the All Blacks for their Test against Italy last Saturday, but the Achilles injury flared again at training on Thursday.
"It’s frustrating for the team because he’s a key player, he’s world class and he provides a lot of extra," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said.