Richie McCaw.
Richie McCaw. SMP Images - Bruce Palme

McCaw faces surgery

ALL Blacks captain Richie McCaw is to have surgery to remove a screw from his injured right foot, All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson says.

McCaw had a screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal of his right foot earlier in the year following a stress fracture at the start of the season which meant he missed the first seven weeks of the Super Rugby season with the Crusaders.

Further soreness meant his training load had to be lighter than usual throughout the season and during the Rugby World Cup. The injury forced him to pull out of the Canada pool game, and he was also a late scratching from the Japan pool game due to a calf injury.

In a medical update today, Dr Robinson said: "Richie had a scan earlier in the week and saw a specialist yesterday to discuss the best options for him. While the initial stress fracture in his foot has partially healed, the scan revealed that there is an area of bone stress around the screw.

"The best option for him is to have surgery to have the screw removed, he will also have some bone grafting done and then his foot will be left alone to heal."

McCaw will have the operation later this month once he has returned from leave and Dr Robinson said no timeline has been set for McCaw's return to rugby.

"Following the surgery, Richie will be in plaster for two weeks and then a moonboot for a month. After around 10 to 12 weeks he will be able to start running and then will gradually return to rugby training."

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