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Crusaders lose Whitelock to injury

05th April 2014 21:25


Luke Whitelock of the Crusaders v Rebels

Luke Whitelock: Injured his knee

The Crusaders are keen for Kieran Read to return to action after fellow back-row Luke Whitelock was injured in Saturday's win over the Lions.

Whitelock left the field in the first half, of his side's 28-7 victory in Johannesburg, with a knee injury and although Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder is uncertain how long he will be on the sidelines he confirmed that he will miss next weekend's clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

"He's (Whitelock) given his medial (ligament) a wee tweak and he definitely won't be available for next week, so that's a bit of a blow,'' Blackadder told Fairfax Media.

"The severity, and how long he will be out - I don't really know. Hopefully it won't be too long.''

Read missed the Johannesburg clash due to concussion and will replace Whitelock at the base of the scrum if he is cleared by the Christchurch-based franchise's medical staff.

If Read is not available then Jordan Taufua, who came on for Whitelock against the Lions, will be the logical replacement in the Crusaders back row.

"He's (Read) got a couple of tests he still has to be taken through but he is feeling really good and back to normal,'' added Blackadder.

"I'm pretty certain he will be right for next week.''

Another Crusader, fly-half Colin Slade, also left the field against the Lions with blood dripping from his right ear but Blackadder was optimistic he would be fit to face the Cheetahs.

"He's actually okay, he was pretty good after the game but obviously we will have an injury clinic tomorrow," he said.

"Hopefully he is not too bad.''

Saturday's triumph over the Lions was a vital one for the Crusaders and Blackadder praised his side for sticking to the game-plan of not allowing themselves to get pinned inside their own half.

"It was probably the first time we have been able to execute a game plan (this season) and off the back of that we created a lot of pressure," he explained.

"We have been pretty pleased to get the outcome but, even more so, that our strategy and our game plan worked.''

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