Aaron Cruden expected to miss Rugby World Cup
All Blacks outside-half needs surgery after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament playing for the Chiefs on Friday
New Zealand star Aaron Cruden has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after rupturing his ACL.
The 26-year-old suffered the injury in his left knee while playing for the Chiefs in Super Rugby on Friday, and is expected to be out for six months after he goes under the knife in Auckland on Wednesday.
When the medics came out I tried to run it off but when I put a little weight on the leg it didn’t feel right. It was hard to believe when I heard what it was initially.
Aaron Cruden on his season-ending knee injury
With Dan Carter and Colin Slade out injured, Cruden started the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, before going off with a knee injury in the first half of the All Blacks’ 8-7 win over France.
The news will come as a blow to All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, who was expected to name the 37-times capped international in his squad for their Rugby World Cup title defence in England.
Despite scans revealing that his knee requires reconstruction, Cruden admits that he finds it hard to believe what the problem is after not feeling any pain.
“There was a pop in my left knee,” Cruden said.
“I wasn’t too sure what it was when it happened.
“It wasn’t too sore at the time and it is not sore now.
“When the medics came out I tried to run it off but when I put a little weight on the leg it didn’t feel right.
“It was hard to believe when I heard what it was initially.
“There was no swelling around the knee and it still feels reasonably strong. It felt like I had been struck down by a sniper.”
Cruden made eight appearances for the All Blacks in 2014, including their 24-21 win over England at Twickenam in November.
I guess all going well with my rehab, and recovery ticks along nicely, then who knows what can happen.
Aaron Cruden refuses to rule himself out of Rugby World Cup
In his absence, Hansen will likely turn to Carter, Slade and Beauden Barrett as his three outside-half options.
Carter and Slade will both call time on their international careers following the Rugby World Cup as they head to Racing Metro and Pau, respectively.
Accepting that his enforced absence is tough to take in a Rugby World Cup year, Cruden refuses to rule himself out of the tournament.
“It was a pretty tough pill to swallow,” he added.
“You look at the last World Cup and there were a few injuries and guys getting called in late, so I guess all going well with my rehab, and recovery ticks along nicely, then who knows what can happen.
“At this stage, I guess I can’t put all my energy into that.
“I just have to make sure that I go up to Auckland on Wednesday and see the surgeon and make sure I make a plan from there, and rip into rehab and recovery as quickly as possible.”