Ngatai ruled out until 2017

Date published: September 22 2016

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Taranaki and New Zealand centre Charlie Ngatai has been ruled out for the rest of the year due to his ongoing problems with concussion.

The Chiefs back, who has been making positive steps in his comeback, reportedly took part in moderated training with Taranaki this season.

But that is the furthest he's progressed so a decision has been made to put his return on hold until 2017, with Ngatai accepting the decision.

"Although it has been frustrating not to be out there with the boys this season, I know the best thing for my recovery is to take the time to make sure I am 100 percent right so that I can look forward to many more years on the rugby field," he told Radio NZ on Thursday.

"I'm grateful for all the support I've received from the Port Taranaki Bulls management, players and the Union and I wish the Naki boys all the best for the rest of the season. I can't wait to get back out there next year."

Taranaki head coach Colin Cooper added: "While I appreciate it's been frustrating for Charlie not being able to play for us this season you would never know it, as he has continued to immerse himself fully in our environment and give as much as he can to help his teammates.

"Charlie is a highly intelligent and determined rugby player who has a massive future ahead of him, with the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, New Zealand Lions Series, Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup to look forward to in 2017 alone. We wish him all the best for his ongoing recovery and will continue to support him as he works towards taking the field again in the near future."

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