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Injured All Black Cane to miss half of Super season

The Canterbury Crusaders’ Jack Goodhue (R) is tackled by the Wellington Hurricanes’ Ricky Riccitelli during their Super Rugby semi-final match, at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch, on July 28, 2018

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan 29 – Injured All Blacks flanker Sam Cane will miss more than half the Super Rugby season as he continues a long recovery from a broken neck, his club said Tuesday.

Cane was Tuesday again named co-captain of the Waikato Chiefs, this year in partnership with Brodie Retallick, but the club said in a statement he was unlikely to take the field until late April.

The openside flanker broke his neck in a collision with South African Francois Louw during the All Blacks’ 32-30 win over the Springboks in Pretoria last October.

Doctors said he suffered a fractured vertebrae but escaped nerve damage that would have had more severe consequences.

Cane, who only resumed light jogging earlier this month, is now in a race against time to be fully fit for the All Blacks opening Rugby Championship Test against South Africa on July 27.

The Wellington Test will effectively be a dress rehearsal for the much anticipated opening pool match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan two months later.

The 2019 Super Rugby season kicks off on February 15 with the Chiefs hosting the Otago Highlanders in the opening game.

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