Read faces Lions race
All Blacks captain Kieran Read is unlikely to play any rugby before New Zealand's first Test against the Lions on June 24 as he recovers from a broken thumb.
The 31-year-old suffered the injury while playing for the Canterbury Crusaders against South Africa's Cheetahs on April 29 and had surgery. He was told he would need six weeks to recover, which would put his return date around June 10.
A Test against Samoa on June 16 at Eden Park was seen as an ideal way for Read to get some match fitness before the Lions series but he said yesterday the longer he had on the sidelines, the better.
"At the moment they are kind of saying you can't use it for six weeks, which is a week before the Samoa game," Read said. "We'll just have to see if I push it, or let things go before that first Test (against the Lions)."