Steven Luatua is cautiously optimistic that he'll be fit to take part in the opening stages of the Rugby Championship if required.
The flanker injured his shoulder in the Blues penultimate Super Rugby match of the season and has been sidelined ever since. While frustrated, the 22-year-old admits he's grateful that the injury did not require surgery.
"I knew from the start that it wasn't going to be that bad but I went through all the precautions, MRI scans, X-rays and what-not, you've just got to go through the process really," he told Sportal.
Luatua has been put through his paces at the All Black training camp this week, but has not been involved in contact sessions, something he'll be looking to get into in the not too distant future.
With just over two weeks to go before the All Blacks take on Australia, Luatua is hopeful he'll be part of the action.
"I haven't tested my shoulder out yet in terms of contact, but in terms of running I'm running freely, so I'm pretty happy with that," he said.