Grim injury news for Isaia Toeava and Blues

23:55, Mar 20 2012
Blues v Crusaders
Blues No.8 Jerome Kaino attempts to score against the Crusaders.
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Blues centre Rene Ranger on the charge.
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Blues loosehead prop Tom McCartney attempts to charge the kick of Crusaders first five Tyler Bleyendaal.
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Crusaders captain Kieran Read is tackled by Blues fullback Isaia Toeava.
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Blues blindside flanker Chris Lowrey and Blues No.8 Jerome Kaino atempt to score against the Crusaders.
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Blues first five Michael Hobbs is tackled by Crusaders second five Ryan Crotty.
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Blues wing David Raikuna celebrates his try with Blues openside flanker Daniel Braid.
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Blues captain Keven Mealamu in action against the Crusaders.
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Blues replacement Piri Weepu in action against the Crusaders.
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Jerome Kaino attempts to charge the kick of Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis.
David Raikuna
The Blues' David Raikuna is tackled during their second round loss against the Chiefs.
Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden and Jerome Kaino
Piri Weepu and Jerome Kaino of the Blues chase down Aaron Cruden and the ball.
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Isaia Toeava of the Blues makes a break during the round two Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Blues.
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Piri Weepu runs at the Chiefs line after coming on as a second half substitute.
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Benson Stanley passes to his right, under pressure from Sonny Bill Williams.
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Blues first-five Michael Hobbs is hit by Sonny Bill Williams after punting the ball downfield.
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Jacques Potgieter of the Bulls is tackled by Benson Stanley and Luke Braid of the Blues.
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Alby Mathewson of the Blues in action against the Bulls.
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Ali Williams of the Blues and Juandre Kruger of the Bulls.
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Ma'a Nonu of the Blues is tackled by Morne Steyn of the Bulls.
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Rene Ranger of the Blues is tackled by Akona Ndungane of the Bulls.
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Wynand Olivier of the Bulls is tackled by Daniel Braid of the Blues.
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Andries Bekker of the Stormers charges the Blues' defence.
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Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg charges the Blues' defence.
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Blues centre Ma'a Nonu finds a gap against the Stormers.
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Chris Lowrey of the Blues passes against the Stormers.
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Stormers flanker Duane Vermeulen wins the lineout dagainst the Blues.
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Blues lock Ali Williams claims a restart against the Hurricanes.
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Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor steps past Blues fullback Lachie Munro as he heads to the try-line.
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Blues second five eighth Ma'a Nonu dives over to score in the tackle of Hurricanes flanker Jack Lam.
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Ma'a Nonu of the Blues celebrates with Piri Weepu after scoring a try against the Hurricanes at Eden Park.
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Gareth Anscombe of the Blues is hauled in by Rebels defenders during their round seven match.
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Ma'a Nonu of the Blues looks to get past James O’Connor of the Rebels.
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Ali Williams of the Blues runs with the ball against the Rebels.
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Rudi Wulf of the Blues is tackled by Rebels defenders during their round seven match.
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James O’Connor of the Rebels celebrates with Mitch Inman after he scored against the Blues.
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The Rebels celebrate after they defeated the Blues.
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The Blues are disconsolate after conceding a try to the Sharks.
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Michael Hobbs juggles the ball during the Blues loss to the Sharks.
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Ma'a Nonu chases JP Pietersen and the ball during the Blues' loss to the Sharks.
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Ma'a Nonu and Gareth Anscombe discuss tactics during the Blues' loss to the Sharks.
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Blues players celebrate Benson Stanley's try against the Sharks.
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Highlanders player Hosea Gear about to be tackled by Blues players.
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Highlanders' Jarrad Hoeata tackling Blues' George Moala.
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Blues player Tom McCartney lines up the Highlanders' Adam Thomson.
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Rene Ranger of the Blues dives for the tryline against the Highlanders.
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Tom McCartney of the Blues shows his disappointment after their loss to the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
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Blues tighthead prop Charlie Faumuina tackled by Reds' Scott Higginbotham.
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Blues first five Gareth Anscombe tries to escape from Reds centre Digby Ioane.
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Blues lock Filo Paulo scragged by Reds first five Ben Lucas.
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Reds centre Digby Ioane runs at Blues second-five Ma'a Nonu.
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Hurricanes' Karl Lowe on the charge against the Blues.
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Victor Vito wins the ball over Ma'a Nonu.
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Cory Jane slips through a Piri Weepu tackle.
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Blues' Piri Weepu passes against the Hurricanes.
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Blues centre Ma'a Nonu runs at Lions halfback Ross Cronje.
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Blues halfback Piri Weepu tries to escape from Lions flanker Grant Hattingh.
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Blues wing Benson Stanley is tackled by Lions wing Deon Van Rensburg.
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Blues wing Benson Stanley tries to step Lions fullback Andries Coetzee.
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Blues second-five Michael Hobbs scores the opening try against the Lions.
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Referee Angus Gardner issues a yellow card to Deon van Rensburg of the Lions.
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Blues right wing David Raikuna in action against the Lions.
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David Raikuna (L) and Ma'a Nonu against the Crusaders at the new AMI Stadium at Rugby League Park in Christchurch.
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Zac Guildford is tackled by Angus Ta'avao (top) and Steven Luata of the Blues at the new AMI Stadium at Rugby League Park in Christchurch.
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Robbie Fruean on attack against the Blues at the new AMI Stadium at Rugby League Park in Christchurch.
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Dan Carter cool under pressure against the Blues at the new AMI Stadium at Rugby League Park in Christchurch.
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Highlanders centre Tamati Ellison is tackled by Blues' second-five Michael Hobbs.
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Blues reserves Piri Weepu, Ma'a Nonu and Ali Williams on the bench against the Highlanders.
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Highlanders left wing Hosea Gear in action against the Blues.
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Blues right wing David Raikuna is scragged by Highlanders halfback Jimmy Cowan.
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Blues tighthead prop Tevita Mailau scores against the Highlanders.
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Rene Ranger sets up the Blues' second try.
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Lachie Munroe scores for the Blues.
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Chiefs and Blues players have a group hug at North Harbour Stadium.
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Blues player Francis Saili is tackled by Chiefs player Sona Taumalolo.
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Francis Saili is tackled by the Force's Nick Cummins.
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Francis Saili fends the Force's Will Tupou.
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Piri Weepu in action against the Force.
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Ma'a Nonu in action against the Force.
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Luke Braid in action against the Force.
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Ma'a Nonu of the Blues is tackled against the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.
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Alby Mathewson of the Blues kicks the ball against the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.
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Blues players celebrate after winning their round 18 match against the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.
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Robbie Coleman of the Brumbies is tackled against the Blues at Canberra Stadium.

Blues and All Blacks fullback Isaia Toeava could be out of rugby for the rest of the year.

The grim news was delivered by Blues team doctor Stephen Kara today, who said Toeava still hadn't recovered from the stress fracture to his hip, an injury that had blighted the last two years of his career.

With Jerome Kaino already gone for the season with a shoulder injury and the team getting off to a disappointing start, the last thing Blues coach Pat Lam needed was to lose another experienced All Black, especially one who started the season in such good form.

Isaia Toeava
LAST GAME?: Isaia Toeava in action for the Blues against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Kara said he didn't know when Toeava would play again, but suggested it wouldn't be until 2013 if he underwent another operation.

"I can't give you an exact date, but what I do know is that Ice [Toeava] has had a complex problem in his right hip for some time and between ourselves and the All Blacks medical staff we've been trying to nut this out for some time," Kara said.

"At the moment he's got two different pathologies, the main problem is a stress fracture in the posterior part of his right hip.

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"The imaging he had when he got back from South Africa showed that still to be there and is bigger.

"It is my suspicion that it has not healed since May of last year. He played through the Rugby World Cup with some pain and some pain killers.

"Then he had a two-month rest and when he's resting he doesn't get any pain at all. He returned to training with us and then the pain started to come back on.

Kara said there was a challenging decision to be made over whether to operate.

"We're going to sit down with a specialist at the end of the week and one of those options is surgery and he could be looking at some time out of the game. If the surgical path is taken it could be six months."

Kara said that even if Toeava did have an operation, it wasn't certain that it would be successful.

"The fact that it hasn't healed to date makes him at risk further on and even if he had surgery as the form of treatment we're still not guaranteed that it will heal itself at all."

The Blues have had a dreadful run of injuries this season, with Lam saying it was the worst he had experienced as a coach.

Out for at least Friday's game against the Hurricanes are Kaino, Toeava, Keven Mealamu, George Moala and Anthony Boric.

Asked if the injury toll was because of the high demands on a player's body in the modern game, Kara said most of the injuries were unusual ones.

"Ice's stress fracture is rare, there isn't a large case history anywhere in the world of the type of stress fracture he has, so that's really bad luck," he said.

"Jerome has had his shoulder issue for the last three seasons and he's been hanging in there.

"He got unlucky and got a blow which knocked off a bit of bone and made his shoulder more unstable and necessitated him having surgery.

"Anthony has got a disc herniation in his neck which has been there for some time and was exacerbated in the Bulls game, but that seems to be settling down nicely.

"It's not going to go away but it is manageable, the plan is to repeat the scan next week and we'd hope to have him back for the Rebels and certainly the Sharks.

"Keven has a low grade calf strain which is recurring for him and he'll miss one week."

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