21 Mar 2012

Toeava looking at another lengthy layoff

3:09 pm on 21 March 2012

Another day, another injury setback for the Blues.

All Black utility Isaia Toeava could be sidelined for up to six months if he requires surgery for a stress fracture on his troublesome right hip.

Toeava's joined the ranks of injured or suspended Blues players with surgery likely for his ongoing hip problem and he may be out for six months.

Toeava joins Keven Mealamu, Jerome Kaino, Anthony Boric, Luke Braid, Rene Ranger and George Moala on the sidelines for the Canes game on Friday.

Blues doctor Stephen Kara says he's been working on Toeava's problem with the All Blacks medical staff and the stress fracture's gotten worse since the player returned from the South African trip.

Kara says he thinks the injury probably hasn't healed since May last year. Toeava played through the World Cup using painkillers and though the pain went away while he was resting for two months after the Cup, it came back once he resumed training.

The doctor says they'll explore several options and if surgery is the way to go, Toeava will be out for six months.

Another All Black, regular Blues captain Keven Mealamu will sit out Friday's Eden Park clash with a calf strain.

Daniel Braid will captain the side in Mealamu's absence.

All Black halfback Piri Weepu will start for the Blues at first five eighth for the first time against his old side the Hurricanes in Auckland on Friday.

Weepu will run out alongside another former Cane, Ma'a Nonu, at second five, and Alby Mathewson at halfback.

Tony Woodcock returns at loosehead prop while Liaki Moli gets his first start at lock.