Cory Jane is set to miss the entire Hurricanes Super Rugby season after suffering a potentially season ending knee injury during training in Paraparaumu yesterday.
The All Blacks wing was carried off the training pitch yesterday and scans last night confirmed significant damage to his right Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Though no time has yet been officially set on his rehabilitation the injury will likely mean at least three months on the sideline and more if it requires surgery.
An official release left that option open, but it appears certain after Jane tweeted tonight that he did need to go under the knife before vowing “I WILL BE BACK”.
The extent of that surgery will determine the next step in his recovery.
The 29-year-old was too upset to speak last night, but still donned the Zoro costume he had planned to wear to Wellington’s IRB Sevens tournament tweeting that it was "too good to waste" while watching the event on television from his couch.
The injury will cast a pall over the Hurricanes opening preseason match against the Crusaders in Timaru tomorrow.
The injury happened during an open training session at the Parparaumu Domain where he was carried from the field by a teammate and then seen on crutches in the club rooms shortly afterwards.
It is a cruel blow for the 41-test veteran who had only just rejoined his Super Rugby squad after his annual leave break following his stellar All Blacks season.
“It is devastating for Cory to have suffered this serious injury when he was looking so strong for this season following such a successful 2012. We know that CJ is focussed and dedicated to his rehabilitation. So he will be committed to working hard in his recovery to come back better and stronger,” coach Mark Hammett said.
“This is not the news we wanted to hear at the start of the season and we acknowledge the loss of a world-class player. However, we have a strong squad for 2013 and CJ’s misfortune means it’s an opportunity for another player to step up.”
It’s expected Jane will continue to play a strong leadership role and assist the Hurricanes management in this year’s competition.
“Cory’s energy, experience and public following means he still has a lot to give to the game and the team,” Mark Hammett said.
News of his injury will be a major concern for Hammett and his assistant Alama Ieremia who will now need a new first choice wing for the season opener against the Blues in February.
The Hurricanes players will digest the news as they board their charter flight south for the one day trip today.
His injury first came to light after a member of the public snapped a photograph of him being assisted from training by a teammate and posted it on twitter.
Jane told followers he “just needed a rest”, but it has proven far worse.
Other wing options in the Hurricanes squad include All Black Julian Savea, Alapati Leiua, Matt Proctor and Richard Buckman.
Hooker Dane Coles is the only current All Black in the Hurricanes squads taking part in the match which will be played over four quarters.
The Crusaders have taken a similar approach with Owen Franks, who will start the match at tight head prop, the only current All Black involved in the match.
Five players will make their first appearance for the Crusaders with Robbie Fruean interestingly starting at second five-eighth rather than his preferred position of centre.
Halfback Andy Ellis is on a powerful reserves bench that includes loose forwards Matt Todd and Luke Whitelock.
The match kicks off at 3pm.
- Fairfax Media