All Blacks flanker Cane has surgery for neck fracture

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has undergone surgery in South Africa after fracturing his neck in Saturday's Rugby Championship test against the Springboks.

The injury is not considered to be career-threatening but Cane will not play again this year and will make a managed return to rugby next season.

All Blacks doctor Tony Page, who has remained with Cane in Pretoria, said the 26-year-old suffered a small fracture to a vertebrae on the lower right side of his neck in the 35th minute of Saturday's match, which New Zealand won 32-30. He did not incur any nerve damage.

"We have every confidence he will do well with the operation and like any fracture it will probably take about three months for the bone to get strong and we'll take it step by step," Page said.

"The operation is really just to keep everything in the right place so the bone can heal on it own accord. Many sportsmen have had this injury as have people in other walks of life and they usually make a good recovery."

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