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Rugby Championship
Crotty out for four weeks with facial injury
August 24, 2014
New Zealand 51-20 Australia (video available in Australia only)

All Blacks inside centre Ryan Crotty is expected to be sidelined for a month after suffering a facial fracture during his team's demolition of the Wallabies at Eden Park. Crotty sat out the second half of Saturday night's 51-20 win after being injured in a heavy tackle.

He impressed in his first start in his eighth Test for the All Blacks as a replacement for the injured Ma'a Nonu, who missed the match with an elbow problem. Nonu is expected to be available for the All Blacks' next fixture, the round-three Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Napier in two weeks.

Three other All Blacks picked up injuries - five-eighth Aaron Cruden (chest muscle), replacement back Beauden Barrett (rolled ankle) and winger Cory Jane (bruising to leg) - but all are expected to be right to face the Pumas.

Meanwhile, coach Steve Hansen says experienced playmaker Dan Carter is being targeted for the All Blacks' away match against Argentina in the penultimate round of the championship in five weeks.

Carter, Test rugby's most prolific scorer, took the first half of the year off to freshen up and was unavailable for the June series against England. But he hasn't been able to add to his 100 caps after suffering a leg fracture in the Crusaders' Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs three weeks ago.

While having him back for the Test in La Plata is the plan, Hansen also said Carter wouldn't be rushed.

"We want to make sure he's right to play, and if there's a likelihood that's he not right then we don't do that," he said. "We want him to be feeling really comfortable and excited about being back when the time is right for him to be back."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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