All Blacks and Crusaders No.8 Kieran Read has been cleared of rib damage but he will be rested this weekend and there is no guarantee he will make the play offs if the Crusaders qualify.
Read was forced to retire with sore ribs in the Crusaders 21-28 victory over the Chiefs on Friday and an MRI scan has cleared him of any serious damage.
However Read is so important to the Crusaders and the All Black cause that he will not be risked against the Western Force in Christchurch on Saturday.
"There's some good news ... the fact he doesn't have any broken ribs – there's no fractures or anything there," Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder told Fairfax NZ News.
"He's still sore and we won't include him this week."
However while Blackadder confirmed that there was no long term damage he admitted that he was unsure whether Read would be available for the finals if the Crusaders qualify.
"I'm not really sure ... cartilage stuff can take a little while but I suppose the positive news is, it is not too serious. "
"He is still a little bit sore but by giving him a week off gives him every chance to be right."
The Crusaders are currently in fourth place but need to beat the Force this weekend to hold on to the top "wild card" place and host a sudden-death match in Christchurch.
Ideally the Crusaders will want Read back for that back which will most likely take place on July the 21st but for this weekend Blackadder said that he was considering starting Luke Whitelock or Matt Todd at No8 rather than shifting Richie McCaw from openside flanker.
Despite his inexperience Whitelock appears to be the logical option as Todd is a specialist opensider and Whitelock can play blindside flanker but is familiar with No8.