Super Rugby
Chiefs fly-half Cruden out for 6-8 weeks
April 7, 2014
The Chiefs' Aaron Cruden celebrates a try with Liam Messam, Chiefs v Crusaders, Super Rugby, Super Rugby semi-final, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, July 27, 2013
Cruden is in doubt for the All Blacks' Tests in June © Getty Images

Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden will be sidelined for up to two months with a broken thumb which could put him in doubt for the All Blacks' Tests against England in June. The All Blacks fly-half and Chiefs co-captain fractured his left thumb during the Chiefs' 43-43 draw with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday and is expected to be out for six to eight weeks.

Cruden completed the game, landing a conversion after the hooter to level the scores, but an X-ray later confirmed a fracture. The injury puts a cloud over the 29-Test veteran's availability for the three-Test home series against England in June. The first Test is in Auckland on June 7. Veteran fly-half Dan Carter will miss that series after negotiating a six-month break from rugby to rest and recover from injuries.

Cruden and Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett are the leading candidates to start at No.10 against England. The multi-skilled Cruden leaves a sizeable hole at the Chiefs, having played nearly every game for the past three seasons. His position and goalkicking duties will probably be handed to Gareth Anscombe, who played at fullback against the Cheetahs.

The Chiefs play the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton on Saturday.

Chiefs chase down Cheetahs lead to secure a draw

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