Dan Carter is in doubt for this weekend's All Blacks test against Wales after pulling up with a leg injury at today's training session in Cardiff.
After initially downplaying concerns around Carter's fitness this morning, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen later confirmed his star playmaker felt a twinge in his right leg during training today.
Hansen will assess Carter over the next 24 hours to make a decision on whether he plays, though that appears unlikely.
Two days out from the test at Millennium Stadium, Carter ran for only 20 minutes of the All Blacks' main team training in cold and wet conditions at University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd, before grimacing after a cross-field kick.
Carter looked in immediate discomfort. He changed bibs with Aaron Cruden and shuffled out onto the reserve side's wing with a noticeable limp.
The world's premier first five-eighth, who sat on the bench but was not required against the Italians last week, did not take any further part in the session which was shortened because of bad weather.
If Carter does not recover and is ruled out, Cruden will start a second consecutive test in his place, but with Beauden Barrett also struggling with a rib injury and unlikely to be available for selection this week Hansen may be short at No 10.
Injuries have hit Carter hard in the past year.
A serious groin injury cruelly ruled him out of the semifinal and final of last year's World Cup; he sat out the third test against Ireland in Hamilton this year with a hamstring complaint, and a calf injury saw him miss back-to-back tests against Argentina in Wellington, and the Springboks in Dunedin in September.
There was also moderate concern for halfback Aaron Smith, who completed training today, but left with an ice pack on his knee. He suffered the injury in last week's victory in Rome.
Hansen is well covered at No 9 with Piri Weepu and Tawera Kerr-Barlow in the squad.
Weepu can also step up at first five if required.
Meanwhile, Adam Thomson will have his IRB judicial appeal tonight in London.
Dan Carter's growing injury list:
An achilles injury playing for Perpignan in January requires surgery and puts him out of all rugby for around six months.
A groin injury rules him out of the World Cup semi-final and final and requires surgery which includes three months of rehabilitation
June - a hamstring strain sees him pull out of the third test against Ireland
September - a calf strain keeps him out of back to back tests against Argentina and South Africa
November - a leg strain has placed him in doubt for Sunday's test against Wales
- © Fairfax NZ News
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