Carter relishing return to action

Date published: January 27 2015

Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter has shrugged off concerns about a calf strain and is determined to play in Saturday’s pre-season match against the Hurricanes in Eketahuna.

Carter endured a frustrating 2014 and sustained a leg fracture in his lower leg during the Crusaders’ Super Rugby Final loss to the Waratahs in Sydney.

He made his Test return on the All Blacks’ end-of-year tour to the northern hemisphere but failed to reclaim his Test spot.

And while most of the Crusaders’ All Blacks will be rested for the clash with the Hurricanes, Carter is expected to get some game-time during the latter stages of the match.

The 32-year-old, who will join Racing Metro after the World Cup in England, overcame a calf niggle and is positive he will have no issues this weekend.

“It is nothing serious, I didn’t feel it ‘go’,” Carter told Fairfax Media.

“I am not that worried about it, to be honest.

“It just means I had to monitor my running load and make sure I wasn’t getting too many kms under my belt, with a lot more work in the pool and on the bike.”

Carter hopes that by playing he will give himself a head start ahead of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby opener against the Melbourne Rebels in Christchurch on February 13.

“It’s just a matter of getting a bit of contact,” he added.

“And, also, timing in these pre-season games is a big thing. You can train all you want – but it’s actually game time against proper opposition where you learn more about your moves, structures and your game plans.

“That’s why I came back a little bit earlier, just to get a couple of weeks training under the belt. Otherwise it takes a bit longer to get back into it.”