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Rugby Championship
Fitness deadline for Carter
ESPN Staff
September 16, 2012
New Zealand's Dan Carter is wrapped up, Australia v New Zealand, Rugby Championship, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, August 18, 2012
Dan Carter continues to suffer from a calf injury © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Dan Carter | Richie McCaw
Tournaments/Tours: Rugby Championship
Teams: New Zealand

New Zealand will decide on Friday whether fly-half Dan Carter is fit to fly to Argentina for their penultimate Rugby Championship clash with the Pumas.

A 28-man All Black squad will fly out to South America next Saturday in preparation for their clash in Buenos Aires on September 29. Carter has begun light running but continues to have daily treatment on a calf injury that has kept him out of the last two Tests. Should Carter be passed fit to travel, head coach Steve Hansen will have to decide whether to keep back-up fly-half Beaudan Barrett on as a third-choice fly-half or juggle his squad around.

"No he's [Carter] not running full noise yet. The medical staff think he will be [okay], but we'll have to wait and see," Hansen said. "We'll probably make a decision late in the week, probably Friday.

"That's an option [keeping Barrett] we've got, but we've got five props as well, so we might leave one of them at home and we have an extra loose forward too, so we could leave one of them home."

Carter is Hansen's only major injury concern with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw expected to be fit for the remainder of their Rugby Championship campaign despite suffering a couple of knocks against South Africa on Saturday.

Hansen said: "Richie's probably the sorest. He has a pretty sore neck. He got a stinger near the end of the game and a hematoma in his leg, but everyone's expected to be available to get on the plane next Saturday so that's great.

"There's a lot of people who are sore because they've just come out of a physical encounter, but he's probably the sorest and it probably reflects all the work he did. He had a massive test match."

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