Crusaders and All Blacks lock Luke Romano is in doubt for this weekend's Super Rugby qualifying final against the Reds in Christchurch.
Romano sprained his ankle playing against the Chiefs on July the 5th and missed last weekend's final regular season clash against the Hurricanes.
The All Blacks lock was able to run on the ankle from last Saturday but he is in a race against time to be fully fit.
Ironically the last time the Crusaders faced the Reds in a Super Rugby final was in 2011 and it was discovered Romano had chicken pox after their Semi-final victory over the Stormers in Cape Town.
Romano was kept back in Cape Town until he was given the all clear to fly out and join the team which led to fears that he might miss the final.
In the end he was named on the bench and came on in the second half only to watch the Reds win the title by beating the Crusaders 18-13.
"I came off for the last 15 to 20 minutes. That was a very disappointing occasion. I still remember that well."
"We were right in the game and just a couple of wee defensive lapses allowed Will Genia to score," Romano told Fairfax NZ News.
"That was probably the losing of the game right there. But there is plenty of motivation without having to look back that far. If you lose (on Saturday) you are out."
Twenty-seven-year-old Romano injured his ankle when his All Blacks team mate and Chiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow ran into him from the side.
"It certainly hurt but I thought 'it will be right, it is just a little tweak' and I jumped up and the pain got worse and worse."
Crusaders physio John Roche taped-up Romano's ankle which allowed him to play until half time but he knew he would not be able to continue when he removed his boot at half time in the change rooms.
"It was blown up like a balloon and they made the decision there to pull me."
Scans revealed that there were no fractures and from experience Romano knew that it was not an injury that would end his Super Rugby campaign prematurely.
Instead Romano spent a week in a soft-cast to reduce the swelling and he was able to complete a 50m run in a straight line last weekend.
"But obviously the big test will be changing direction," said Romano.
"That will be the test that determines whether I am right this week."