Rugby championship: New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw faces four weeks out

Last updated: 7th September 2013  

Rugby championship: New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw faces four weeks out

Richie McCaw: Facing four weeks out with ligament damage

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New Zealand's Richie McCaw faces at least four weeks out after damaging ligaments against Argentina on Saturday.

The totemic All Blacks skipper - who took a seven-month sabbatical from the sport earlier this year - hobbled off during the 28-13 win in Hamilton and is unlikely to take any further part in the Rugby Championship.

"He's done a medial ligament and it looks like he could be out for four or five weeks," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "It's not grade one, it will be a two, three or four.

"At this stage the doc thinks it's four or five weeks. Like all injuries he could wake in the morning and feel a lot better but I'm not thinking it's going to be that.

"We might as well get it out now and get on with it."

McCaw's absence means Sam Cane is most likely to drafted in against the Springboks in their fourth-round match in Auckland next weekend; Canterbury Crusaders flanker Matt Todd is expected to be added to the squad as cover.

The All Blacks had attempted to play their up-tempo style against the Pumas but heavy rain disrupted their rhythm and induced numerous errors.

"It was a messy win," No 8 Kieran Read said of New Zealand's third victory in as many matches in this year's tournament.

"We wanted to be positive but sometimes the conditions don't allow that. I think you have to be prepared for what gets thrown at you and in conditions like this and a physical Pumas side it probably took us a little bit longer to adapt."

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