WELLINGTON - Champion All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter has a cracked calf bone and will likely miss the first four weeks of the Rugby Championship, including the Bledisloe Cup opener against the Wallabies.
Carter picked the injury up in the Crusaders' loss to the Waratahs in the Super Rugby final in Sydney on Saturday.
The small crack in his upper fibula was revealed in a scan, the Crusaders confirmed on Tuesday.
"The size of the crack meant it was not originally picked up by an X-ray," a spokeswoman said.
"The injury will require just rest to heal and it is hoped that his recovery will take approximately four weeks."
It means Carter, 32, will likely miss the first two All Blacks matches of the Rugby Championship.
New Zealand play Australia in Sydney on August 16 and then a week later in Auckland, followed by Argentina in Napier on September 6.
Other All Blacks injured in the final were prop Wyatt Crockett, who hurt his left knee but will be able to train next week, and lock Dominic Bird, who injured his right big toe.