Carter set to miss Highlanders clash

Date published: February 17 2015

Crusaders pivot Dan Carter is set to miss the Christchurch-based franchise's clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.

Carter hurt his leg in his side's 20-10 loss to the Rebels last weekend and although Crusaders assistant coach Aaron Mauger believes the injury isn't serious, he said it's unlikely that the All Blacks fly-half would be considered to play this weekend.

That means that Colin Slade is expected to start in the number 10 jeresey while Israel Dagg – who didn't play against the Rebels could start at full-back.

Carter's injury to his lower right leg is the same as the one suffered in last year's Super Rugby Final against the Waratahs but Mauger doesn't think it's related to that problem.

"He just took a bit of a bang in the weekend, so it is a new injury – not too bad," Mauger said.

"He just had a bit of a dead feeling during the game," he told Fairfax Media.

"Hopefully we will get him running again towards the weekend. He did a slight jog today which is an encouraging sign for us.

"But it is unlikely he will play this weekend."

Carter hobbled around for 10 minutes against the Rebels after it looked like he had hurt his leg while executing a clearance kick. He was replaced in the 73rd minute and after the game he said he was sure he would be ready to play against the Highlanders but he has not participated in training sessions this week.

Mauger said Carter did not have any scans on the leg.

"None of that stuff, it is a new injury so they are just treating it like any other knock on the leg," he added.

"So, nothing too serious."

Carter did not speak to the media but Mauger said he was clearly disappointed".

"But he's a pretty resilient lad and he will just get on and go through the process and do everything he can to be right for the next opportunity."

Even if Carter does recover quickly this week and starts running at full-pace, it is unlikely that the Crusaders coaches would risk him against the Highlanders.

"Just the feedback from the medics and where it is at to date," added Mauger

"It is just cutting it a bit fine and what we want is a bit of surety going into this challenge.

"It is going to be a big one going into Dunedin. So we have every faith Colin will do the job."