27 Aug 2009

McAlister and Smith to miss rest of Tri Nations

6:58 pm on 27 August 2009

Injured All Blacks midfielders Luke McAlister and Conrad Smith will miss the rest of the Tri Nations.

McAlister fractured his right cheekbone in a heavy tackle in the weekend's Bledisloe Cup Test while Smith strained his left hamstring during the All Blacks win in Sydney.

All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson says McAlister will undergo surgery tomorrow in Auckland to have several small plates inserted into his face.

Dr Robinson says he'll be able to return to rugby after four weeks, while an MRI scan's revealed Smith has suffered a "significant" hamstring strain.

It's anticipated he can return to rugby in four to six weeks.

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith says Isaia Toeava, who's recovered from his foot stress fracture, will rejoin the squad, which reassembles for a one-day training camp in Christchurch next Wednesday before assembling in Hamilton next Sunday.

They play South Africa at Waikato Stadium on Saturday 12 September followed by Australia in Wellington on Saturday 19 September.