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Achilles injury sidelines Carter for at least 6 months

DAN Carter, arguably the world's best rugby player, will be out of the game for at least six months after suffering a partial rupture of his Achilles tendon, his French club Perpignan said on Sunday.

Carter limped off the pitch in the last minute of the 13-13 draw with Stade Francais in the French league on Saturday and the New Zealander now faces a race to be fit for the All Blacks when the Tri-Nations tournament begins in July.

Carter will not be rushed back into action, the New Zealand Rugby Union said yesterday.

The New Zealand Rugby Union said they would be monitoring Carter's recovery and would not be rushing the flyhalf back into action.

"It's hugely disappointing for Dan. He was really enjoying playing in France," All Blacks manager Darren Shand said in a statement.

"Dan's now resting at home in Perpignan and it's probable that he will need surgery but a full assessment will be made over the next few days.

"As a general rule of thumb, players who suffer a severe Achilles injury are out of rugby for at least six months but it can be longer.

"Dan will return to rugby when he is ready and we will support him throughout his rehabilitation."

The New Zealand flyhalf joined the French club in December on a sabbatical until the end of the European season.

Carter had been granted a six-month sabbatical from his NZRU contract to play in France, missing the 2009 Super 14 season before he returned for the All Blacks' domestic international program.

New Zealand play France on June 13 and 20 and Italy on June 27 before they begin the defense of the Tri-Nations against Australia in Auckland on July 18.


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