Crusaders' five-eighth Dan Carter says he still can't set a date on when he'll be goal kicking again.
Following his return from the groin injury that robbed him of the chance to play in the World Cup final, Carter has slotted in at second-five with the promising Tom Taylor wearing the No10 jersey.
It was only ever going to be seen as a temporary measure and that's how the Crusaders are lined up again today for the match against the Reds in Christchurch. But Carter has revealed he recently suffered a setback in his recovery and still doesn't know when he'll be taking on the goal kicking duties once more.
"I'm still not too sure to be honest," Carter told Sunday News. "I'm following a rehab plan and I'm progressing each week. So as long as I keep considering that and build up my strength, that will be the key to get back goal kicking.
"I had a bit of a twinge in the groin in the Hurricanes game which set me back a little bit, but it's a matter of me continuing my rehab and I can't set a date on it."
As well as not taking goal kicks in games, he's not practising them much at training either. "But as long as I keep building up the strength, hopefully I'll be able to kick a few in the weeks to come."
Although he misses the goal kicking, Carter has enjoyed playing second-five and compares it to a few years ago when Aaron Mauger played 12 and he was at 10.
"It has been frustrating not be able to kick goals and my groin has been a bit tight, but in terms of the experience I've really enjoyed it. I'm working closer with Robbie Fruean, who has been in great form, and also with Tom I've seen a great up-and-coming player," he says.
"I'm learning a lot at second-five so when I go back to the No10 jersey I'll know what I want from my No12."
As for the Reds today, Carter is aware their last victory over them was back in 2009. "They have had the upper hand in the last few years, especially last season when they beat us in the final, which was really disappointing," he said.
"But I know the guys are really excited to be playing against the Reds and especially at home. We love playing here in Christchurch and to be up against last year's champions is very exciting. There has been no lack of motivation this week, we're right up for it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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