New Zealand rugby head coach Steve Hansen has been given a mixed bag of injury news following another weekend of Super Rugby with the announcement that another key figure is at risk of missing the All Blacks’ first Test against the British and Irish Lions next month.
Already having to contend with a lengthy injury list that includes Kieran Read, Ben Smith, Dane Coles and Nehe Milner-Skudder, Hansen can now add Scott Barrett to that list.
The Crusaders lock is at risk of missing the first Test against the Lions on June 24 as a result of knee ligament damage he sustained during the Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes, home of his two famous brothers, Beauden and Jordie.
According to Crusaders’ scrum coach Jason Ryan, via Stuff, Barrett will be out of action for approximately three weeks as a result of the medial ligament injury and an ankle knock he also picked up during the game.
News of Barrett’s injury comes as the Hurricanes announced that both Coles and Milner-Skudder are moving in the right direction regarding their own fitness battles and could likely feature between now and June 9.
According to Stuff, Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has revealed that Milner-Skudder is back running and progressing well while Coles is able to take part in light training without suffering any headaches or calf issues.
News of the pair’s progress will certainly be a boost to All Blacks boss Hansen as he looks to nail down his squad for the imminent Lions Tests.
The only question is whether they can make it back to full fitness in time.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena