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MX News Update 2024

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All Black lock Josh Lord expected to miss eight weeks after suffering a setback with a knee injury

Josh Lord has played just three games for the Chiefs this season. Photo / Photo sports

With the end of the Super Rugby Pacific season in sight and the first All Blacks test of the year looming just over the horizon, an injury setback appears to be leaving lock Josh Lord keeping an eye on both from the sidelines.

The 23-year-old, who has been out of action since leaving the Chiefs’ sixth round match against the Crusaders with an ankle injury, is expected to miss the next eight weeks with a knee injury.

“We’re going through a process with Josh right now,” Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan said.

“We are a little concerned that some injuries around his leg took a little longer to heal than we expected.”

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It is the latest in a growing list of injury problems for the four-Test All Black, who has made just three appearances for the Chiefs this season as an ankle injury meant he could not make his season debut until the fourth round before his campaign ended. came to an end. stalled again on lap six.

In the last 52 Chiefs games, Lord has only been able to feature in 22 of them. He made his Super Rugby debut in 2021 and was called up for his All Blacks debut later that year. However, a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in May 2022 saw him miss almost a year of rugby.

He did not return until the ninth round of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season and was limited to four appearances in the campaign – two from the bench and two in a starting role – before returning to the testing ground for the Rugby Championship. He started the All Blacks’ opening round win over Argentina and was named on the bench for the side’s test against South Africa at Twickenham in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup, but was not included in the World Cup squad .

With Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock leaving their posts in the All Blacks engine room after the World Cup, Lord was seen as a potential candidate to try and fill one of those voids as part of Scott Robertson’s first squad of the season. But the season wasn’t kind to Lord and he couldn’t stay on the field long enough to really make his case to the new selection committee.

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With the projected eight-week timeline for Lord’s recovery from this latest setback, he would be available again around the first week of July. The All Blacks play their first test of the season when they meet England in Dunedin on July 6.

It was better news for blindside flanker Samipeni Finau after he was helped off early in the Chiefs’ win over Western Force in Hamilton last week. Finau was injured after heavy shoulder-to-shoulder contact while being carried, and although he suffered an injury to his acromioclavicular (AC) joint, McMillan said he avoided a break or dislocation and was expected back in time for the play- offs.

“He just needs to follow a pretty diligent return plan and we expect that will probably be somewhere between three and four weeks, so even up to the play-offs.”

Christopher Reive joined the Herald sports team in 2017, bringing the same versatility to his reporting as he does to his sports viewing.