26 Aug 2014

Crotty out for a month

2:59 pm on 26 August 2014

All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty is expected to be sidelined for a month after suffering a facial fracture during his team's demolition of the Wallabies at Eden Park.

Crotty looks to pass under pressure at Eden Park, 2014.

Crotty looks to pass under pressure at Eden Park, 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Crotty sat out the second half of Saturday night's 51-20 win after being injured in a heavy tackle.

The Crusaders midfielder impressed in his first start in his eighth Test for the All Blacks as a replacement for the injured Ma'a Nonu, who missed the match with an elbow problem.

Nonu is expected to be available for the All Blacks' next fixture, the round-three Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Napier in two weeks.

Three other All Blacks picked up injuries - five-eighth Aaron Cruden (chest muscle), replacement back Beauden Barrett (rolled ankle) and winger Cory Jane (bruising to leg) - but all are expected to be right to face the Pumas.

Meanwhile, coach Steve Hansen says experienced playmaker Dan Carter is being targeted for the All Blacks' away match against Argentina in the penultimate round of the championship in five weeks.

Carter, Test rugby's most prolific scorer, took the first half of the year off to freshen up and was unavailable for the June series against England.

But he hasn't been able to add to his 100 caps after suffering a leg fracture in the Crusaders' Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the Wallaby wing Pat McCabe suffered a recurrence of a neck injury in the latest dose of Australian Rugby Championship misery.

McCabe was replaced late in Australia's 51-20 thumping after suffering a jarring knock on.

The Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie on Sunday admitted scans have shown worrying signs for the Brumbies back who this year made a brave comeback from two neck fractures.

The winger is almost certain to miss Australia's next clash, against South Africa in Perth on September 6, and is in grave doubt for the rest of the Rugby Championship.

Centre Tevita Kuridrani looms as a replacement with Adam Ashley-Cooper to return to the wing in a backline reshuffle.

The Wallabies will also be without Nathan Charles against the Springboks at Patersons Stadium as the hooker's curse continued in the six-try thumping at Eden Park.

Charles will have scans on what is hoped to be a rib problem.

Australia are already missing captain Stephen Moore with a season-ending knee injury while fellow rake Tatafu Polota-Nau is battling to return from his own knee injury.

James Hanson is in line to make his first run-on Test start against South Africa while Saia Fainga'a is set for a recall on the bench.