Crusaders’ injuries keeping medical staff busy

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 01/07/2014
HEADS UP: Crusaders first five-eighth Colin Slade attempts to evade the tackle of Hurricanes forward Blade Thomson.
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IN DOUBT: First five-eighth Colin Slade is among the latest players to join the mounting injury tally at the Crusaders.

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Deb Robinson’s medical files keep expanding.

Kieran Read (ankle), Colin Slade (concussion) and Jordan Taufua (knee) are the latest to join Crusaders doctor Robinson’s list of players requiring attention before Saturday night’s match against the Blues at AMI Stadium.

It is hoped No 8 Read, who played 33 minutes as a substitute against the Hurricanes last weekend, is over his concussion problems but he is now nursing a tender ankle.

Playmaker Slade had to be convinced to leave the field, and later failed a concussion test, after collecting a head knock during the 16-9 defeat. Blindside flanker Taufua needed attention during the game after taking a knock to his heavily-strapped knee and was replaced by Read.

‘‘So far he has pulled-up pretty well,’’ Hewett said in reference to Slade.

‘‘Obviously he will have to go through the procedures of CogSport (concussion test) and re-sitting that and making sure everything is okay.

‘‘It’s (the test) not every day. It’s as the medical staff see fit. If you have symptoms you don’t do it but if you don’t (have symptoms) then you do a CogSport test and if you are fine on that then you are in line for selection.

‘‘But the CogSport is not the be-all and end-all and there are a lot of other things that go into it.’’

Hewett said Read, whose season has been interrupted by concussion issues, ‘‘seemed to be in a good place’’.

Taufua will be monitored.

‘‘He will get through his recovery protocols and then we’ll see how he pulls from there.’’

The trio join Richie McCaw (fractured rib), Israel Dagg (patella tendon), George Whitelock (concussion) on the list of injured men. McCaw’s problem is the most serious. He may not be sighted for another three weeks – if the Crusaders’ season lasts that long.

Dagg, who hasn’t played since starting for the All Blacks against England at Eden Park on June 7, is a chance to return.

‘‘Bring him back a week too early and it could mean another eight weeks out, which no-one wants,’’ Hewett warned. ‘‘We’ll assess him very closely to see if he’s available.’’

Wing Nemani Nadolo has re-joined the Crusaders after a busy month with Fiji. He was sorely missed in the Hurricanes match but Hewett denied he would be rushed back if the coaches think he is showing signs of fatigue.

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