Conrad Smith is playing golf and driving a car as he recovers from eye surgery, but the All Blacks centre will reluctantly sit out the first two Rugby Championship games against Australia.
The Hurricanes captain had his detached retina "spot-welded" back into place last month after his Super Rugby campaign ended.
Initially a six-week "no training zone" was put in place to ensure a full recovery.
Normal vision in his left eye is still returning but Smith has been cleared to resume light physical exertion as well as indulge other sporting interests.
"I can drive around and things, it's still a bit cloudy, just in the left eye, but I can hit a golf ball and try and run around so it's not too bad," said Smith as the All Blacks' wider training squad assembled in Wellington yesterday.
"I'm back running around as of Monday, just light jogging and sitting on the bike and things, so it's all getting better from now hopefully."
Smith said "at this stage" the plan was to sit out the Bledisloe Cup games against Australia before making himself available for the test against Argentina on September 8 in Wellington.
"I know in probably a week or two I'm going to be feeling great and wanting to play, but I've just got to keep going back [to his specialist]."
Smith said he remained unsure what had caused the injury and endorsed Ma'a Nonu to keep his No 13 jersey warm.
"Ma'a's spent a lot of time in that position over his career so if it is him that's selected there, I'm sure he'll make a great fist of it."
Smith was also comfortable with Sonny Bill Williams playing against Australia before departing to Japan.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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