Carter closes on Crusaders return
March 14, 2012
Dan Carter is close to a return to rugby following his World Cup nightmare © Getty Images
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter is on track to make his return from injury in the Crusaders' Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs on March 24.
Carter stepped up his recovery from the groin injury, which ended his involvement in New Zealand's victorious Rugby World Cup campaign last year, when he trained with his Crusaders team-mates for the first time this week.
Although the Crusaders Knights development team's match against Tonga A on Thursday came too soon for the fly-half, he remains confident of helping the struggling Crusaders against the Cheetahs in Super Rugby round five.
"This week has been the first chance I have had to do some (team) training, so I think it would be just a little bit too early to play for the Knights," said Carter. "I would have loved to, but I am still working towards that Cheetahs game."
Carter has been building up his strength and confidence in his injured leg with a special kicking programme and is relieved to be finally training again with his team-mates.
"The uncontrolled training means I can put a ball in my hand and not have to think about running, where you are doing your back moves, game plan stuff and a bit of contact as well, rather than having to have the physio watch me run lengths of the field," he said
"Everything I have done has responded well. I am still only kicking at around 70 to 80 per cent, so I am still building into it. I just can't go and whack a lot of balls, unfortunately."
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