Super Rugby
Dagg facing World Cup fitness race
ESPNscrum Staff
May 17, 2011
The Crusaders' Israel Dagg looks for support, Highlanders v Crusaders, Super Rugby, Carisbrook, Dunedin, New Zealand, March 19, 2011
Israel Dagg could miss out on the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images

Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg faces a fitness race to make the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup squad after undergoing surgery on a quadriceps injury.

The 22-year-old ruptured a tendon in the muscle in the Crusaders' win over the Stormers in Cape Town on May 7 and now faces three months on the sidelines after specialists confirmed the extent of the injury.

Dagg played six Tests for New Zealand in 2010 but missed their end of year tour with an injury to another part of his quadriceps.

His form for the Crusaders this season had made him a probable for the World Cup and he is now hoping to influence selection with a run of games for Hawke's Bay later in the year.

"Hopefully I can get a couple of games in for the Magpies and play my way into the World Cup," he told Hawke's Bay Today. "It's definitely not the time to be injured but if we do everything right with the rehab I could be back playing by the end of July.

"I'll just have to take each step of the rehab as it comes, get the strength back in the quad again and keep positive."

Crusaders utility back Adam Whitelock also underwent surgery on Monday after he ruptured his right pectoral muscle, while wing Sean Maitland is due to go under the knife on Wednesday to repair a joint injury in his left foot.

The Crusaders expect the players to be sidelined for between two to five months, but much depends on how well the injuries responded to surgery and rehabilitation.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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